CAS Reflection


Xiklo is an art magazine which includes poems, prose and art works. So far, we get submissions of poems, artworks and prose and we vote on which ever will go on the Xiklo magazine. I especially enjoyed reading the poems because I will have more inspiration of creative writing afterwards. We all contribute our opinion about the specific work and we also discuss how we should format the work on the magazine. Sometimes we had difficulties understanding the work and how it should be fixed. Usually, the Xiklo leaders contact the artist and discuss the presentation of the work. I enjoyed Xiklo greatly because I always enjoyed art in any form. Although I was somewhat shy when it comes to commenting on works, I gradually come to know that positive or negative comments are important and it is not to be viewed as offensive personally. I joined Xiklo again the second semester because I know that I would be able to participate more after overcoming shyness.


Each One Teach One is an ASA that teaches the non English speaking staff working in the school. I feel like this is one of the ways to appreciate what they provide for us during school hours. Everyone should be able to be educated, and some staff members are not be as privileged as us, the students, therefore, we teach the staff simple English every Tuesday and Friday. We made flash cards, games and other memorization methods in order for them to easily get some grasp on English. The staffs are very friendly and we always had a good laugh during our weekly sessions. EOTO made me even more passionate about community service. This ASA also made me appreciate the staff’s service for us – the students and learn to acknowledge my privileged life even more.


Human Rights Reflection

My group’s topic is North Korea Human Rights Abuses, and we are interested in this topic because the current situation is very devastating and people need to be aware of this. Our project is in the format of a Powtoon, I try to use images instead of words on our slides and voice over to narrate the information. We contacted a formal prisoner in one of the North Korean prison camps, which makes our presentation even stronger. I would give our group an exemplary because it meets all the expectations in the rubric, and our primary source from our expert is very reliable; we weaved in some of the quotes from our expert during our presentation. Our group try to raise awareness of this issue by creating a Facebook page and make sure that everyone in our community is updated on the current issues in North Korea.

I feel more confident with working in groups after this project. We had great communication in our group and we divided all the work equally. We know exactly what to do and we meet up after school to further polish our presentation. We had exceptional group work, which resulted in exceptional presentation.

The Ugly Truth about Media Beauty Trends

For many teens, cupcakes are delicious. For Hanna, cupcakes represent her obese past, her worst fear. She became obsessed with monitoring the amount of fat on her body. Apparently, Hanna is not the only one with this concerning body issue; cases of anorexia and extreme muscle building has become popular among young adults. Boys are pressured to be muscular, and girls with slim physiques are viewed as the ideal of proportion. Media has an impact on teen’s view on body image, including both girls and boys. Some might claim that the media encourages everyone to follow an active lifestyle, however, more adolescents are trying to achieve such trends with a harmful approach. The media’s focus on beauty has a negative influence on teens’ body image because attractive figures are constantly displayed on social media and media’s standard of beauty can blind adolescent’s judgement.

From reading magazines to checking Facebook of favorite celebrities, teens are not just exposed to dazzling beautiful people, they are becoming a part of young adult’s lives.  Beauty dominates everyone’s judgement nowadays, and without being aware of it, adolescents are comparing themselves to impossible-to-achieve figures. According to the article Does the Media’s focus on beauty have an ugly side? it has been calculated that 54% of girls from 12 to 23 are unhappy about their appearance because the average female model is 5’11 and weighs 117 pounds. Given the evidence, it is logical to think that the media does have an effect on teen’s impression of their body image. Models and celebrities are what people look up to when it comes to physical appearance, and models set an example of an anorexic body in front of magazines and other published media, which can harm adolescents. In conclusion, teens are affected by media’s judgement on beauty, and this results in desiring  anorexic skinny physiques and other unhealthy habits from teens.

Furthermore, Media is the queen of trends, so they are the first to foresee everyone’s interest and create something intriguing. Young adults sometimes blindly follows delusional media trends, not aware of the danger of these trends. To illustrate, in the article A Teen Anorexic Fights Back, Ali Tate states that Holly’s boyfriend told Holly that she needed to lose some weight, which resulted in Holly becoming anorexia. This evidence is significant because media’s skinny trend is not only affecting the girls’ perspective on themselves, but boys’ perception of an ideal physical appearance of their girlfriend. They do not realize how risky it is to become addicted to losing weight. As stated above, one can see that dangerous trends can be driven by the media and harm young adults without being aware of it.

By contrast, critics may claim that media promotes regular exercises and a healthy diet, which can be healthful to young adults. To illustrate, obesity and anorexia are some of the concerning issues in America. However, according to a survey by the Center of Disease Control, most adolescents are currently trying to maintain their figure by exercising instead of using anorexic methods. This evidence is significant because the media is an actual motivation for healthy diets and physical exercises. Furthermore, celebrities are also promoting a healthful lifestyle by posting images of themselves exercising or eating nutritious food. Although this argument is valid on many points, it fails to overlook the danger of excessive dieting and muscle building. Young adults began using harmful methods to achieve their desired figure. In the article A Teen Anorexic Fights Back, the author Ali Tate states that Hurt was losing weight because, “ The skinny models and actors she saw in the media were her ideal of perfection.” This example illustrate that teens deeply admire the models and bodybuilders on the media, therefore they would sacrifice their health to achieve such unrealistic goals. The media sets the trend of beauty, without consideration of the risk to an unhealthy population. After looking closely at both sides of the issue, one can see that media images adversely affect adolescents’ mental and physical health.

Media’s beauty standards can negatively affect teens in many aspects such as encouraging unrealistic beauty trends and severe methods to achieve such trends. Young adults are exposed to many retouched photos, which could potentially lead to risky bodybuilding or anorexic habits such as bulimia. Teens should be warned against such images and parents should try to limit their children’s exposure to such poisoned images.

Newton Vehicle 3

To me, this project is extremely challenging due to the fact that our vehicle has to move at least 1.5 meters without battery or motor. We were only given about 2 and a half week to work on this and our group struggled with our time management on the blog posts and lucid charts. Instead of choosing a safe plan by building a balloon powered vehicle, we selected a rather ‘risky’ plan for our design. We built a rubber band powered vehicle which actually did work, it had traveled 1.7 meters on the floor. But as we were experimenting on ways of releasing the vehicle, our vehicle suddenly doesn’t work anymore. We are not sure of the cause, and tried a dozen ways of fixing, but ended up in a failure. At the day of our assessment,  we changed our plan last minute and converted our vehicle in to a balloon powered vehicle. Our balloon powered vehicle has great distance due to its light build, and all of my group members were beyond relieved. I have learnt that you always need a plan B for any projects because you have no idea when your plan A crashes. Our time management wasn’t the best, but I have learnt my lesson. This project also requires massive amount of patience as well which I really didn’t expect.

If I were to do this project again, I will be more flexible with our choices of alternatives, and try to have a sense of time because I felt like our group had begin with slow pace and ended up rushing all the requirements. The first thing we need to make sure we have an alternative if our original plan isn’t working because the cause of our lack of time management is that we had spent too much time on our plan A and were rushed in the end when plan A ended up not working. I would also divide up the tasks because I felt like our group wasn’t organized enough and everyone ended up panicky and try to do all the work. If we were to build our vehicle again, I would probably search for a smoother wheel so the vehicle would run for a greater distance due to less friction. We would probably have time for a more detailed and complex vehicle design if we didn’t have trouble with our timing. The Newton’s Laws greatly impacted our design, and it made us think more about our design. An example will be that we build our main structure on popsicle sticks main because it is light, so it doesn’t require large amount of unbalanced force for it to start moving (Newton’s Second Law). I would extend the project by building almost a life size vehicle with dozens of balloons on it, and when we pop the balloons, the vehicle will move in a direction.

Screenshot from 2014-12-16 19:54:33

Cyberbullying Essay

Schools should be responsible for any on-campus cyberbullying with school technology.  If cyberbullying happens on school campus, then the school should be responsible.  However, if this happens after school, then the students should be responsible for their behavior.

Schools should sometimes be responsible for punishing cyberbullies because schools are responsible for the students’ actions on-campus. According to Lucas Chen, the author of the article The New Bully at School, states that some people say it is within students’ rights to receive an education without disturbance. School should produce a safe, healthy environment for students to work productively. The evidence indicates that schools should be a secure place for students to get an education. If anything is distracting students during school, the school should be responsible for it. Cyberbullies targeting students can be considered a huge distraction, therefore, schools should be responsible for in-school cyberbullying because the schools have rights to punish cyberbullies to make sure students can study in a harassment free environment.

Additionally, schools should be able to monitor school owned technology, but it becomes a violation to student’s privacy when schools search through student’s personal technology. Lucas Chen states that parents think schools should be responsible for student’s guaranteed education by monitoring student’s devices to make sure students are productive with school subjects, to know if they are being harassed, threatened or distracted with social networks (The New Bully at School). Yet many others argue this is a violation of student’s privacy. The evidence suggests that teachers should be allowed to monitor school possessed technology, but not student’s own personal technology. Students should know school possessed technology is only to assist your learning, therefore schools have the right to search through it to make sure students are learning in a healthy environment. However, schools should not search student’s own phones or computers because it invades the student’s privacy. As a result, schools have no authority over student’s personal technology possession, but schools should be able to monitor school owned technology.
School is to provide a clean environment for students to receive an education, therefore the school should be responsible for student’s actions during school hours. However, the school has no authority over students private life after school. In conclusion, the school can guarantee student’s online safety by monitoring school technology regularly.

Physics Newton Vehicle #2

Screenshot from 2014-12-11 21:36:12


The yellow arrow represents the rubber band, and circle represent the wheels of our vehicle.

Since the First Law states that an object tends to keep moving or remain at rest until a unbalanced force is acting on it. Since our vehicle is a rubber band powered car, by winding the rubber band and releasing it afterward, the rubber band exerts a force on the wheels which cause the vehicle to move forward. The second law explains that an object’s acceleration is directly related to its mass. We are trying to shed excess weight off our vehicle for it to most efficiently move the amount of distance needed. Newton’s third law says that when a force is exerted on an object, an equal amount of force from an opposite direction is also exerted on the vehicle. When we wind our vehicle, the rubber band is wind in the direction which is opposite from the direction our vehicle is moving in. Therefore our vehicle involves Newton’s Third Law because the rubber band is exerting a force on the wheels in a direction, but when we release our vehicle, it is going to move in the opposite direction.



Physics Newton Vehicle

In this physics unit, we were required to understand the basic concepts of motion and create our own Newton Vehicle with our current knowledge of physics. Here is an introduction to what we have learnt. Gravity is a force of attraction between any two objects. All objects with mass have gravity. The amount of gravitational force you can exert on another object is very small since humans don’t have a large mass. Another example will be that the sun exerts a gravitational force on earth and other planets so that they would orbit the sun. When an object slows down, it is because of friction. Friction is a force that stops a sliding object from moving. Friction is a force that acts opposite from the movement direction of an object. Less there is less friction, it is easier to move. And last but not least, inertia is a way of measuring how hard it is to change the movement of an object. Our teacher presented us with an example of a superhero comic, when the inertia man cannot move on its own unless an unbalanced force is acting on him.

As for our vehicle, we have to have a basic understanding of Newton’s Motion Laws in order to create a successful vehicle. The first law explains that an object at rest tends to stay at rest, an object moving tends to continue moving, until an unbalanced force is acting on it. The second law demonstrate the acceleration of an object is directed related to its force and the mass of this object. The third law took some time for me to understand, but basically it is saying that for every force exerted on an object, there is a reaction that is equal in size, but opposite in direction.

I think friction is important to keep in mind when building our vehicle because if the surfaces of the vehicle is very rough and creates a large amount of friction to the ground, our vehicle would be very slow or extremely hard to move. We also have to keep in mind that our vehicle has to have a unbalanced force to push it forward.


History Narrative

Once my friend told me unrealistic memories are unforgettable. I had one, and it certainly didn’t seemed real to anyone else but me.


It was a normal school day, started out with the cold stares exchanging from Mom and Grandpa. As always, I picked up my backpack and went out, trying not to get involved in any controversy between the two of them. Holding the old bread Mom gave me for breakfast, I dragged myself to school without much enthusiasm. It was windy but warm, sun shone through the clouds and on to the waves of golden wheat. From my observation, there is a disk like object flying really low, and landed on a bed of wheat. Indeed, curiosity carried my body towards the mysterious object. I knocked on the metal outer shell of this object. I don’t know, maybe I was expecting the object to talk, but instead, a thin blue skinned creature came out of the disk like object, its crystal ball eyes leering at me.


“ Oh, Hello. I am Brian Kavohda. I just wanted to make sure I landed on the right planet. So is it Earth here?” Brian the creature asked.


I took a bite of the bread and decided to walk away to avoid any contact with the creature, so he tapped me on the shoulder and my face almost collide with his huge crystal ball eyes.


“ Oh, my apology. This is earth. It is Berlin, Germany in fact.”

“ Yes, this is exactly where I wanted to land in. What is your name lad?”

“ I am Erik Schwarz.”

“ Well nice to meet you Erik. I am here to research about the belief system in Germany. I heard that it had changed quite a lot after the, ummm, wait I know this… Ah, protestant reformation.” Brian hold out his hands and I shook it.


My parents strictly forbidden me to talk to strangers, especially to dodge any religious topic, but he seemed kind. So I told Brian that everyone living here are Christians, but Christianity is divided into to two denominations: protestant and catholic. Before the protestant reformation, there was only catholic. Now, my grandparents are Catholic, but my parents are Protestant, and so am I.


“ Can you infer further about what exactly is catholic and protestant?” asked Brian, who is scribbling down notes in his notebook.


So I explained Protestants are people who protested against the Catholic Church. Before the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Church was doing many things that is against god’s teaching, which are also called sins. First, the Church began to sell indulgences, a pass for sins you have done, which is usually forgave by performing good deeds. This made the Church extremely rich and powerful, many church officials lived like royalties and had control over all the Catholics. At the time, the church officials were the only people who could actually read the bible (written in Latin), which is the reason why all Catholics had to rely on the church. The Church could translate possibly incorrect information about the bible and pass them on to the Catholics.  Therefore, part of the population started to doubt the Church’s behavior and faith in god. People started to see bits and pieces of the worldliness and corruption in the Church. Many protestant leaders were formed, such as John Wicliffe, Jan Hus, who wanted to purify the church but instead was being treated with heresy. People began to protest against the church and formed a denomination called the Protestants who believe in the truth in bible.


“ Wait a second. One more question, you said your grandparents are Catholic but your parents are Protestant?” Brian gave me a puzzled look.


I sighed at the comment. People had always asked me about this because the same family usually believe in the same religion, but my family is quite unusual. My grandparents had been raised in a Catholic family so they were taught to believe in the Catholic church and give full support to the Church. My grandparents was born before the Protestant Reformation, which is when a large portion of Europe is still Catholic. My parents were borned after the Protestant Reformation, and they believe in the bible only and was very furious about the Catholic Church. After they were married, both of them joined Protestantism. My parents supported Luther’s 95 Theses and even parade the streets with other protestants who wanted nothing but to spread the truth about Christianity. After hearing many stories about the Reformation, I sided with my parents and joined Protestantism.


“ Bravo! Earth is such an extraordinary place, thank you so much for your analyzation. I shall pay back your precious time.”

Before I was to respond, Brian dissolved into the thin air and I was again alone on the track to school, but with a full piece of uneaten bread, looking at the sun shone through the clouds and on to the waves golden wheat.

7 Minute Running Challenge


Screenshot from 2014-10-21 10:06:58(I am the one wearing dark blue shirt in the front)

In our PE class, we are doing this running unit and we have a 7 minute running challenge and we have to run as much as we can during 7 minutes. Our goal was to work out our heart and try to get our heart rate to our personal active zone. I goal was to run about 1.3 km during 7 mins and I had achieved my goal by running 1.32km in 7 mins. For me, it is very had to run in a constant rate and breathe normally. I ‘ve always had trouble breathing during long term running, but I believe it is better now after doing four seven minute challenge at school. I have a hard time getting my heart rate to my personal active zone, so I am still going to work my heart and try to do high active exercise every week for three times. I actually enjoyed doing the 7 min challenge because I have never ran more than 1 km before and it is interesting to see my capacity.


Activity HR Active Zone 60-70% Healthy Zone 70-90%
Rest 78 156.2-168.9 168.9-194.3
Ant Tag 104 no no
Popcorn 100 no no
Suicide 106 no no
7 minute run 122 no no


The Night with Full Moon

It was a night with a full moon, glowing ivory color. I was walking out of the restaurant, going home, alone. It was a warm night, but I could feel piercing wind sliced deep into my cheeks. Trees, tall ugly trees, reached for a strand of my hair with its trembling branches. I was careful, not to make a sound, afraid I might wake something. A drop of rain surprised me when it plopped on my head, I let out a frightened gasp. My heart was at my throat when a cat appeared in the dark, its glittering green eyes leering at me. Finally, I arrived in front of my apartment. I opened the glass door of the building, letting myself absorb in the warm yellow light. ‘Everything is fine now, I am home, away from all the harm.’

But I was wrong.

I pressed the password to unlock my door, but through the peephole, I could see the lights were on in the living room. ‘They were off, I was sure I turned the lights off.’ There were blurred voices in the house. I froze, closing the door with a quiet snap. I went dizzy, my mind ignited with thoughts of fear. I felt suddenly surrounded, locked up, imprisoned. Fortunately, my mind resisted the illusion and began to function normally. I dropped my bag, threw off any heavy object, kicked open the emergency exit, observe to make sure no one is in there, and flee. My legs carried me down the pitch dark stairway, I was not scared of the dark anymore, I was afraid of what’s up stairs.