Graphic Novel Unit – Writing

In this section of my graphic novel, I used polyptych to show Emily jogging as well as the background details. The background details are my main focus in these 3 panels of Emily jogging. The background details show things like an unseen man being robbed, a crack – which is a bad omen in some countries, and a graffiti showing “NOT THIS WAY” in underlined capital letters. The polyptych technique allows me to build up the tension by displaying signs that something bad is going to happen later on.

Probably during this whole assignment, the most challenging part was drawing the graphic novel. the reason for this was because whenever I thought of using a technique, I had to think about how I was ging to format it, and then draw it out. It seems easy, but when you try to draw it out… something always goes wrong, and I have to restart the whole process on that one panel. This was the protocol I had to go through for all of my panels.

This unit was interesting. When you draw a graphic novel or comic strip, you don’t think of the science behind the panels and the art, you just draw what you think is appropriate based on past examples. However, through this unit, I learned that there was more behind that. The 3 chapters from Scott McCloud’s ‘Understanding Comics’ gave me a lot more insight on this one topic… after leaving me utterly confused – at first. Out of this unit, I could identify techniques used in the graphic novels and films from now on.

Radical Invention Debate

Link to Debate Planning Document 

Debate Roles :


Self Assessment (ME)


Peer Assessment (Huy)


Judge Assessment (Alina)



  1. From the research, preparation and the debates themselves, what did you learn about the art of persuasion? Please explain.

The first thing I learned about debating is that when you stand up there, in front of the whole class trying to persuade them that nuclear energy is the better choice of energy… It get’s really difficult. The art of persuasion is not something you could master in a day or two, or 4 weeks. However, doing this project I got some feedbacks and responses from my friends, and I learned a few valuable lessons. First and most important, the counterclaims that you have in your speech shouldn’t list all the negative aspect of your topic. This was my first mistake, and when I read my speech out loud I felt my heart sinking slowly because of how pessimistic the energy look. It overshadowed my own supporting evidence. Secondly, when you read your speech out loud the confidence must show. I’m not confident standing in front of people. Not at all. My legs would start to tremble, my palm gets sweaty, and most of the time I just wanted to hide under the table. During the debate, I stood up and tried to focus my eyesight at something and continued looking up at that spot ( making it look like I held eye contact with someone ), and I tried my best to keep my voice steady and calm. Making it appear that I have control over myself and my topic.

  1. How do you establish credibility as a debater? Explain fully.

My topic had more cons than pro compared to the opposing team. It was fairly hard to establish credibility when you don’t have a lot of facts (since nuclear energy is expensive to produce and not a lot of people have massive information about it). But, if I had to think of a way to establish credibility then it would be to raise your own topic and lower the other teams topic. Easier said than done. This is the basic and most obvious way possible to establish credibility, but this doesn’t just depend on a person’s skill or luck, it also depends on the topic because some are easier to work with and some are harder to work with.

  1. What surprised you the most about your debate and/or the debate experience?

I knew that there was a lot of stress when you go up to debate in the middle of the classroom, but it really did surprise me how much that amount of stress was. Other than that, there was being a judge. I expected that when you’re a judge in a debate, there would be a lot more arguing and disagreements in a conversation. But, when I was a judge that didn’t happen and everything went on pretty straightforward.

  1. What were you most proud of in your own debate?

I am most proud of my perseverance in my debate. The other team had 97 % chance of winning the debate, making it impossible for us to actually try to fight all that topics. So, I’m proud that I stood up there and tried to debate with the other group.

  1. What would be your next steps? Or in other words, what would you have done differently?

I would not have written so negatively on my counterclaims. I would do more research on the other team’s topic. I would try my best to defend all the weak aspects of my topic. I would try to talk over with my partner to see what we could do, what we should do. There’s a lot of things I wished I could’ve redone, but it passed and I would have to argue with Ben and Phuong to settle out a score sometime in the future.

Science Day 21 – Ecodome (Attempt 3)

Modification of Ecodome :

– Stones are lined surrounding the plants.
– Less water is added into the soil of the container, to avoid molding.
– The plastic bottle bottom is cut down to become shorter.
– Less water inside the plastic bottle bottom, to prevent drowning.
– Instead of choosing a random cricket, I chose a big cricket which would sustain itself for a longer time.
– Left 3 crickets instead of the usual 2 crickets
– Chose big plants that can also sustain itself for longer periods. More plants are also added into the container.
– Left somewhere away from the windowsill to avoid water evaporating and condensation fogging up the container.

Observations : Since the beginning of the 3rd attempt

Day 31 (When we opened the container) :
The container looks bare only rocks are available
1 cricket is alive, it’s body looks to be bigger than when put into the container.
The body of the other 2 is unseen, a cricket leg is in the shallow water container.
Roots of the plant are still connected to the earth.
Soil seems healthy.
Air is not humid.

After :


Conclusion & Modifications :

Language Arts Quarter 2 Reflection

What was your biggest success ?

My biggest success in this quarter for ELA was writing my research paper. When I wrote this, I would spend a lot of time just rereading and retyping a phrase. I found that using formal language isn’t as hard when you have a thesaurus open. I had my friends check on my writing to see if it was alright, and if it wasn’t then I would revise it.

Biggest difficulty ?

During the process I was writing my essay, the part that I got stuck on the most was the Conclusion. It took me around 5 hours to write it, 3 hours spent looking at a blank space – result of typing and retyping thesis, and 2 hours reading and revising. When I was writing down my conclusion, I closed the tab a few times thinking, “I can just do it tomorrow.” However, the reason I didn’t leave it for another day was because I had peer editing on the class that day, so I had to get it finished.

What would be done differently ?

For this paper ? I’m guessing nothing, because if I had anything to do differently. I would have done it earlier at the beginning of the process. I’m very happy with my research paper right now just the way it is.

Research Paper Essay :

What are the significant decades of the american women clothing evolution through the 20th century?

Fashion is the style of the clothing we wear, it affects us all. From long gowns with long sleeves showing nothing except the face and hands, to short skirts up to the thigh with sleeveless tops. The 20th century, a hundred years that caused fashion to change rapidly. The American fashion developed more throughout the 20th century because of the significant decades affecting it. Some of the decades such as the 1920s, which were the first to invent the short hemlines, the 40s, where women coped with the strict laws because of the war, and the 60s where experimental fashion boomed, all helped American fashion reach a higher level.

Following World War I, the 1920s was a joyous time celebrating the war being over and the maturity of young women. During the war, women had many serious duties to help in the war effort, such as ambulance drivers, factory workers, nurses, etc. They had practical roles that made men respect them more in the future (Fashion). “As they moved into the 1920s, there was a sort of joyousness of the war being over, and that was coupled with these young women who really had come of age in these new freedoms, this new autonomy of having a little money for themselves the first time and new ideas about modern life emerging, and really moving forward with those ideas (Fashion).”  The new freedom inspired a new type of clothing, made with lighter fabric, and shorter hemlines up to the knee (Glamourdaze). The new fashion trend in the 1920s was when women started to step into the modern era. Stripping off the restricting rules and corsets, and wearing more comfortable clothing that allowed more freedom in movements (Yelland). The new idea of clothing also represented the change in the youth. The minority of the 20s didn’t dress like the older generation, and didn’t listen to music of the older generation. Instead they embraced their youth, had fun, and enjoyed life (Yelland).

Many aspects of the 1940s were affected by World War II (September 1, 1939 – September 2, 1945), from the laws to the jobs to the culture was affected by the war (World). This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing since the US was struck with the Great Depression (1929 – 1939) just before entering the war (Great). The war gave people jobs, everybody had a part in the war. Children would gather materials to be used in the army, men would be fighting on the battlefield, women had a variety of occupations back home since the men had to go into battle (Amanda). Women became the factory workers helping to produce products, they worked in the army as secretaries/office workers(Amanda). They filled in for jobs to support their nation and support their family. “Clothing in the 1940s was all about wanting to feel strong and ‘in control’ in a period of fear and uncertainty, yet fitted waistline and tapered skirts kept things looking feminine. Clothing ration naturally slimmed the silhouette, and elaborate hair and ‘statement hats’ balanced the broad shoulders (Amanda).” Contrasting to the belief that fashion during war times didn’t exist. The 1940s was a decade flourishing with fashion, even though it was difficult to cope with. The strict rationing laws made it difficult to dress, so the government invented ‘Utility Clothing’. These designs were made to be fashionable yet a dear to the laws (Amanda).

The sudden growth of TV ownership and the massive boom in the entertainment business had a major impact on the fashion industry. TV promoted advertisement, movies, tv shows, talk shows, and etc. In all of these types of production, fashion plays a big part and would advertise the fashion industry as well. Fashion cues in shows and commercial caused more people to chase after trends in the 1960s (People). In the 60s, the style idea was similar to the 20s. Fashion trends were focused on the idea of ‘return to youth’. The style featured oversized collars, bows, bold pop art pattern, and shapeless mini dresses miniaturizing women making them look smaller and more youthful. Opposite to the 50s look of matured women, with emphasized curves and sophisticated clothing. The 60s trend was to make women look younger and more innocent (Sessions).

The 20th century affected our modern style remarkably. Without the short skirts from the 1920s, without the 1940s simple but efficient style, without the 1960s fun and lively look, there wouldn’t be the fashion in the 21st century we know today. Simply because, the style is a combination of all the trends from the years before. If it weren’t for those decades that produce clothing different from the centuries prior to it, we would be wearing very different clothings today. Furthermore, the decades also initiated various characteristics that women portrays using fashion, examples include: the fun and independent woman of the 20s, the 40s with responsible and efficient women, and the 60s with women who were youthful and innocent. The modern woman image of the 21st century is a combination of these personality traits.

Science Day 13 – Ecodome (Attempt 2)

Modification of Ecodome :

– Stones are lined on areas of the container where plants are not planted.
– Less water is added into the soil of the container, to avoid molding.
– Less water inside a plastic bottle bottom, to prevent drowning.
– Instead of choosing a random cricket, I chose a big cricket which would sustain itself for a longer time.
– Choose big plants that can also sustain itself.
– Left somewhere away from the windowsill to avoid water evaporating and condensation fogging up the container.

Observations : Since the beginning of the 2nd experiment

Day 14 :
Both crickets last through the first day.
There are no signs of mold growing.
Plants became more green, and stopped wilting.

Day 15 :
Plants are growing well.
Salad is eaten
Cricket 2 died. Cause of death : Drowning
No mold
Less moisture seen, unlike the first attempt at this experiment.

Day 16 :
Cricket 2 is rotting in the pool of water
Cricket 1 found how to dig down to go underneath the rocks
Plants are growing greener and healthier. Some of the bigger plants even grew a little taller.
Condensation has happen. Big water drops are found surrounding the top of the container.

Day 17 :
Plants were bitten and pushed out of their original placement
Plants started to wilt
Cricket 1 is still alive

Day 20 (When we opened the container) :
Plants are very close to death.
Some are lying on the ground.
Roots of the plant are still connected to the earth.
The stem is thin as a toothpick.
Cricket 1 drowned
Soil seems healthy.
Air is not humid as the first attempt was.

Pictures :

After :


Conclusion & Modifications :


Science day 7 – Ecodome (Attempt 1: Finish)

Observations of Ecodome :
– 2 crickets = Dead. 1 is found in the pebbles next to the water container, 1 was behind the trees.
– Plants = Cilantro plant has mold. Leaves of the plants are growing yellow at the tip, some of them wilted.
– Water = Seemingly untouched by any factors.
– Soil = Still moist, a little bit too damp.
– Atmosphere = Humid, and warm. Little similar to a rainforest.
– Leaves of Cabbages and Spinach = 1 or 2 has mold on it. Doesn’t seem to be eaten.

Pictures :

Reflection : Conclusion & Next Step

Science Day 1 – Ecodome (Attempt 1: Start)

Ecodome Design Components :

A large Container :  To have a lot of space for each thing I put into the container.

Soil :  The soil is fertile – the type used for farming and growing crops. So the plants can grow well on it. Earthworms would be put into the soil.

Water :  The water would be held in a plastic container next to the soil with holes poked in it, or next to the soil with pebbles layered into a wall in between.

Plants:  Any types of plant, that is within reach. Like an ivy I have at home.

Organisms :   2 crickets, 1 male and female ( maybe ). Because crickets are vegetarian they eat plants not meat, so there would be no cannibalism if there is no meat inside the eco dome.

Stones / Pebbles :   The pebbles will be line at the bottom of the container to stop water from seeping in too quickly into the soil. 

Food / Fruit :    Mixed in with the soil to ferment and to create some replacement food source for the crickets.

Changes :
  1. Water (100ml) was held by a bottle bottom and placed on a stone area.
  2. There were more than 1 plants inside the ecodome not just the devil’s ivy and the parsley, but also a small type of bamboo hybrid.
  3. The dirt was a mixture, not just one type. There were some sand and stuff mixed into it.
  4. No worms inside the dirt. There are some other bugs.
  5. Cabbage and other organic types of leaves are also placed inside the ecodome as a food source.
  6. Left near the sunlight on the windowsill.


Language Arts Quarter 1 Reflection


In Quarter 1 of ELA, we wrote a newspaper article. During the course of this project, I gathered as many responses as I could of the individual dishes in the cafeteria, as well as seeking out answers to answer the displeased reviews. I incorporated feedbacks with data both found while interviewing and questioning employees of the cafeteria and student of the school. The process of this writing went averagely well, since answers could be found just by asking staffs and not having to dig deep into books. I faced some hardship while fitting my writing inside the newspaper formatting my group had made, and phrasing sentences in a more formal tone. Other than that, my span of the project went particularly smooth.

First and foremost, I learned how to write a newspaper article efficiently. To write an article efficiently about something – anything, I had to gather facts and data to create a solid basis for my article. Other elements I included during the writing process only strengthen my writing, like adding vocabularies that are effective and powerful and weaving in feedback from the interviewing work. I have learned a lot from this project. I have learned how to communicate more naturally when I interview people. Journalism was a new experience that challenged the writing style I have known for a long time. It was surprising and also difficult to write something that blends skilled literature and cold, hard facts together.

I definitely found it fun and more relaxing in my Language Arts class then some of my other classes. It’s relaxing how there isn’t as much homework per week except maybe reading the lit circle book. I do want to redo some of the moments in class (not many, just some. I can count those moments on the tip of my finger) but maybe it doesn’t matter anyways, maybe one day I’ll sit somewhere and say,   ” Remember that one time… ” and we might all have a good laugh. I do really enjoy Language Arts not just because I have a teacher very well trained in the arts of Comedy, but also because my classmates are welcoming and warm. Quarter 1 for me, left me breathless and exhausted at the same time, but looking back I wished I can just do the whole thing again.

Revolutionary Thinkers Project – Leonardo Da Vinci

Minimalist Poster



Research Notes can be found here :

How did it go conducting research? Triumphs? Challenges?

During my researching quest, I found many, many useful information – even if it took a little time. But, there was one that i couldn’t find research on. Leonardo is a famous man, yet finding the people who influenced his studies earning him a place in history is… absolutely difficult. There isn’t much information on people who guided Leonardo, even on Verrocchio himself. Even if I could find the who, I couldn’t find the why they influenced him. Everything else I had a successful research however my partner and I couldn’t find any information on people who influenced Leonardo. I believe that you can’t find any info. because people are more interested in Leonardo’s studies and art. To elaborate further, even if I found the who I couldn’t find the how and why it happened.

What did you learn about yourself when you had to take-notes?

I learned that sometimes I get lost in thoughts, and instead of taking notes I tended to write the whole narrative/conclusion into my research box. Usually, normal people would find informations, and record the important facts. I tend to locate the facts with my eyes and then write a whole paragraph off of that information. I think this works a little like looking at shorthand notes and then writing a summary of it. But in my case, I tend to take the information I find and write a summary out of that instead of notes and facts. This is a bad habit sometimes… I think.

Narrative Hooks


What insights did you gain about narrative hooks that you may not have been so aware of before?

I found that there are many structures and forms of hooks other than questions and interesting facts. I think it was really fun using the descriptive hook describing things. I found that most of the narrative hooks could be applied to many types of writing and I really like that.

What narrative hooks did you experiment with in your writing?

I stuck with the classic hook of interesting facts for one of my narrative, and experimented with a rhyming hook on the other. I really wanted to try write the descriptive kind because I really enjoy finding vocabularies and matching words to words to create a good writing portion.

VLOGGING as a Metacognitive Strategy

What discoveries did you encounter as you were vlogging?

While I was vlogging, I found that it was harder to read your thoughts than writing your thoughts. It took me a long time to get the copy that I hyperlinked. That clip was – I think the 20th time I refilmed. I felt that I was lucky when I did this at home because I didn’t think that I would be able to do it in 20 minutes. During this vlogging experience I tried to keep my reading as smooth as I can while also putting in facial expressions and hand gestures to make it look natural. Because of my perfectionist nature it took me a long, long time to finish.

Biggest Takeaway

What is your BIGGEST TAKEAWAY (BIGGEST LEARNING) from our Revolutionary Thinker’s Project?

I learned more about Leonardo Da Vinci’s life. Before this project, I didn’t do as much research as this project since it’s required to study all the aspect of his life. Throughout this project I’ve learned how to write narrative hooks efficiently, and how to write conclusions. I applied some technique from the poster on the yellow board to my narrative and it made my narrative a lot better.


Mandarin Unit Reflection

In this unit, I learned how to call members from both sides of my family. When we started the year and this unit, I copied down the vocabulary from the board onto my notebook, and practiced. In the same week, we had a quiz to prove that we memorized the vocabulary. The next week came by and we all received practiced sheets. This helps us understand how to write sentences, and how to read things said about family members. The unit project afterwards, was a family tree that shows my whole family. In this project, it was required to write a paragraph by hand talking about my family and a hand drawn family tree too. After this unit, I memorized completely how to say things relating to my family, and can fully understand it’s meaning.