Final English Project

December 17, 2015

EngFin1a EngFin1b EngFin2a EngFin2b EngFin3a EngFin3b EngFin4a EngFin4b



    For my project I researched the topic of media censorship in China. I tried to point out the nonsense methods the government uses everyday with a touch of humor. I made a series of small infographic-posters that could be placed around the school. There are two types of posters, the first is designed to be a grassroots PSA campaign, and the second demonstrates the type of response the government might make to such a campaign. On the Chinese propaganda side, I included words and phrases that the Chinese government would use to make themselves seem great, and on the PSA side I used information that I found during my research. My target audience is high school students who are old enough to understand the balderdash that is Chinese propaganda. I kept the text brief for people who don’t have a lot of time to be reading research. I want to use these pieces to educate people about how the Chinese government tries to control information with deception, coercion, and brute strength, while also sharing some of the unbelievable censorship rules and tactics that I learned about in my research.

    I put careful thought into the design of the posters. For the color scheme, I chose blue for the PSA because it is a soothing color, and red for the propaganda to represent China. For the PSA posters, I added pictures of the ‘three wise monkeys’ to help keep the theme light- hearted. These monkeys are famous for their own respective methods of ignorance and this helped further highlight my point. All of this was done to help show the message that China is not a free country.


Links to Images:


How Spices Affected The World

September 7, 2015

These are some of my views on how the spice trade influenced the world.

The demand of spices directly influenced the era of colonialism. After the Ottoman empire closed the routes to Asia, the European nations not wanting to go through the Ottomans began searching for alternate trade routes. One of these explorers had a new idea. Christopher Columbus knew that the earth was round and wanted to go west and go around to Asia. With some help from Spain, he accidentally the Americas. The letter underneath is from Columbus writing to Ferdinand and Isabella, and it talking about how great the place is (so they would fund more trips). The European powers saw an opportunity in America and endeavored to create colonies. Two hundred and forty years later, Britain created the thirteen colonies that in turn (The map on the right) became America. Not even Columbus knew that the land he found trying to trade would eventually become the most influential countries in the world.

01427.p1.web__1 Early_Jewish_Congregations_in_the_13_Colonies

The spice trade also created companies that contributed to the end of imperialism in China. Countries created companies to handle new trade routes to Asia, and Britain created the East India Company. The Qing dynasty didn’t want to trade with the companies so the Qing cut trades with them. The British still wanted the Qing dynasty’s items, so they used the East India Company to sell opium as a war strategy. Eventually, opium was so widespread, that opium dens like the ones under the paragraph popped up in China. After years of pumping drugs into China, Europe defeated them in the opium war because the soldiers were also using drugs. Wars 1 and 2 is shown in the map. Imperialism, after thousands of years in China, in the end wasn’t taken down by war. It was taken down by trading companies that used to sell spices.


Work Cited

Columbus’s letter to Spain. Digital image. Gliderlehrman. N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

The 13 Colonies. Digital image. ISS World History. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Sept. 2015. <>.

Opium Wars 1 and 2. Digital image. Gun Base. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Sept. 2015. <>.

Opium Den in Shanghai. Digital image. China Mike. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Sept. 2015. <>.


September 1, 2015


There are going to be way too many spoilers so if you don’t like them, please don’t read this article until you read the book. I really recommend you read the entire series too. They are great books and things might not make sense if you don’t read them first.

Brief summary of what happened until now in Catalyst by S.J Kincaid: Tom Raines lives in a future world in WW3. He has moved into Upper Company (which is like a rank in his “training school”). If he is lucky, someone from the six companies that fight WW3 will sponsor him to be a combatant. In WW3, there has been a pact that has been made, and it says all wars must be fought in space. All combatants have a computer in their heads called “neural processors”. These computers can be used to control drones that are in space to fight WW3. They can also be used to CONTROL YOUR BRAIN. Tom has a special ability to control machines that usually should not be able to be controlled like satellites with his neural processor. This causes Joseph Vengerov, his archenemy to capture him and run tests on him.

As the ending nears, Tom fights his way out of Vengerov’s space base while nearly losing his sanity. Yes, his sanity. “… that knew you needed to be totally detached from the situation if you were going to survive it with you mind intact. (323 Kincaid)” He was trapped in his base in pretty much solitary confinement with sensory deprivation for 15 months. Normally this would be enough for people to go crazy, but good guy Vengerov forces him into an unconscious state for most of the time. After he makes it out with pure luck, (he was free-falling through the sky in a space station) he finds out that Vengerov has installed miniature neural processors. He has taken control of everyone in the world except his friends at the Pentagonal Spire (the training school) who already had them installed. ”The Austere-grade processors were everywhere. In everyone. Joseph Vengerov owned the entire world.” (313) From there they launch a desperate all out against Vengerov. A bomb under his headquarters did the trick, and all the world turned against the corrupt officials and representatives. “No one would sell them anything; their money was worthless.”(384) Like that, a new era of progress begun for the human race, with everyone with computers in their brains people who couldn’t go to schools could download things and make up for them. “… a time when infinite technological progress was finally possible.”(394) Months later, training combatants were retrained into the Galactic Legion. Astronauts that would explore space and strive to go places where no one has ever gone before. Tom and Vik were the first ones to step foot on Mars. And Tom’s first words were, Kapow! I’m on Mars!”.

Personally I’m extremely satisfied with this ending. I really don’t think there could be a better ending to wrap this story up. After a Tom’s beating, I believe that he has gotten some well-deserved rest, and recognition for his work. After all, hard work pays off.

Travel Magazine

May 18, 2015

What are your especially proud of with this project? Explain or give examples.

I’m proud of some of my infographics, and my research. Without my research my writing wouldn’t have had a lot of facts in it, and I think my infographics looked nice. I’m also really proud of how our magazine turned out. It was far better than I thought it would have looked.

What could you have done better? Explain or give examples.

I wish I wrote more for my travel writing piece because it was really only one and a half full pages. I also wish that I would have done more during the planning. Melis and CC did a lot of the planning work so I want to say thank you. I think my infographic for Lahu was a little lazy, and I would like to do that better as well.

What was a lesson you learned while working on this project? This could be a “lesson” on any level (personal, academic, group dynamics).

Projects are extremely hard if you don’t work together. I had a little “falling out” with my teammate Alex. We would disagree with each other on everything we possible could. Later on though, we managed to finish our magazine and I’m proud of that.

What advice would you give to students doing this project next year?

Do everything on time. If you rush your article and elements, it is really stressful. I had to do two on the last day and I had to rush it. When I got back to school, my last element was not as good as my team’s so I redid it. Also I would urge them to use Piktochart, it is a really great website and has amazing templates to use for infographics.

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Bad Luck Brian:

You have probably seen this guy on the internet before. This guy’s name is Brian.This

The only problem is this yearbook photo  was posted in 2012 and since then been the

template of choice for bad luck memes This meme I made is a common example of the

memes you would find online.


In our book Catalyst, our protagonist Tom asks a girl called Iman out. Just before they

leave his friend Vik sends him a program. Vik tells him to use the program if something

goes wrong or becomes to boring, but doesn’t tell him that it will actually make him drunk.

After he uses it a couple times he gets so drunk that when he gets back to the Pentagonal Spire,

(A training camp of sorts for combatants in training.) his friend Wyatt tells him he looks like

he had a stroke. When he talks to Iman again, she breaks up with him. “I don’t know if this is

a good idea.”(Kincaid 155)


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Batman Slaps Robin:

Batman is a superhero in the DC universe, (If you don’t know who batman is, you have probably

have been living in a cave for a few decades.) and Robin (If you don’t know who Robin is here is

a page on him.) is his sidekick. This template has been taken from a comic book published in 1965.


Medusa or Yao Lan is the leading combatant that never lost a battle in the war between the Indo-American

Alliance and The Russo-Chinese Alliance.(She is on the Russo-Chinese side.) In WW3, they use ships in space

to fight, and have agreed not to fight on earth. During a practice, they were supposed to see “Earth’s second moon”

and use it to practice a battle formation. The problem is that the massive five-kilometer-wide asteroid was falling

to Earth. An asteroid that size would be enough to wipe out all of humanity. Just when everyone was giving up,

only Medusa and Tom hadn’t. They both had brain surgery that accidentally lets them control machines with that

their neural processors (computers that help the brain to process things faster, and download information.)that

normally should not be possible. Medusa fires all of the nuclear missiles at once and destroys the asteroid. In the

aftermath when she visits the U.S., (without permission) she accidentally meets Tom. (They already knew each

other from book one) She blames herself for not being able to save more people. Then Tom scolds her for “kicking

yourself for only saving ten and a half billion people”(193)


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This meme originates from a 1999 comedy film called Office Space. This character is called Bill Lumbergh

in the movie. In 2011, a Redditor posted the first meme with this template that read, “Yeeeaah, if you could just, go ahead

and read this in my voice, that’d be great.” In late 2012 the meme template became extremely popular.


In various parts of the book, there were people who took advantage that almost everyone in the book had a computer in

their heads. In the first book, Tom’s stepdad (Tom hates him) programs his computer so that he would be a well-behaved person and controls him. In Catalyst, his mentor Blackburn decides that he has done enough stupid things in the last two books, and “links” his computer with his so he can see and hear whenever he wants. “With a thought, I’ll be able to access your sensory receptors and see exactly what you’re doing anytime I want to.”(24) Later on his arch nemesis, and the main antagonist Joseph Vengerov plugs in a “restraining node” into him that prevents him from moving. In that state, he takes Tom to space and keeps him there in solitary confinement for fifteen months. (He blinks in and out of consciousness) “A restraining node can regulate your muscular impulses via your spinal cord. It can make your body move or stop it from moving.”(256)

Dear Dad,

It’s been nearly six months since I’ve failed miserably at failing the selection to come to the Magisterium. I missed you a lot and wish you could be here. A lot of first happened to me here. I’ve made friends their names are Aaron and Tamara. I learned a lot about the five elements: fire, water, air, earth and chaos. I even tried lichen for the first time, but you won’t believe what happened to me later on in the year.

Aaron, the seemingly normal guy is a SPOILER ALERT Makar (a chaos magician) in training END OF SPOILER. As you know, only a Makar can fight another Makar, and there wasn’t one since Verity Torres who was killed in a battle against. Since the Enemy of Death (the main antagonist of this book) is one, he will be trained to fight him. He asked me to be his counterweight so when he overuses his magic, he can draw power from me. I know it’s dangerous and I know it might go horribly wrong and kill me, but if it means bringing the Enemy of Death down, I’ll do it.

After the “incident” and our talk, I finally walked through the first gate, the gate of control. Now I’m a copper year student! No one can bind my magic anymore! (SPOILER ALERT Callum Hunt our protagonist no longer exists. The soul living inside the body is actually the Enemy of Death. His dad knows this, and sent a letter telling him to bind his magic before he passes through the gate. Callum also finds out during the incident, but walks through the gate anyway. END OF SPOILER) Master Rufus told me that since we are now copper year students, we don’t have to continue our studies in the Magisterium. I know that you don’t want me to continue, but the few months here has changed me. I want to stay. I want to learn more. I want to have friends. So can I please stay for next year?


Callum Hunt

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This movie poster is about Magisterium, book 1: Iron Trials. Iron Trials was written by two people: Holly Black, and Cassandra Clare. Our fellow protagonist, Callum Hunt is a mage. (Like pretty much every book with magic) His dad is also a mage but he hasn’t used magic since Callum’s mom died. Just before she died, she wrote a cryptic message next to the baby, “KILL THE CHILD”. (I can just feel the Harry Potter vibe.) His mom was killed in a war between the magisterium and the “Enemy of Death” a chaos magician who practiced necromancy. Since then, Alastair Hunt has made sure that Callum doesn’t use magic. Despite his best efforts to fail the test to be picked into the Magisterium (a magic school) he gets picked anyway. There he finds out he is actually _____ and is the greatest _____ of the Magisterium. The symbol used in the poster appears a lot in the book. The triangle represents fire, the arrow air, circle earth, wavy lines water, and the spiral chaos.

Ancient Wall Seamless Texture. Digital image. Dreamstime. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2015. <>.

I think we were extremely successful in achieving our goal. Our goal, is to create a polymer that can seal cracks and fix holes. We called it fix-it slime in our video. The polymer works great, to use the polymer you put a chunk of it in hot water. The water makes the polymer stickier and softer. It sticks to a lot of things, and once it hardens it was hard to break, and hard to pry apart. The best part was that even if you pour hot water on it after it hardens, it wouldn’t dissolve.

One of the hardest things in making this polymer was to remake our base polymers. We chose two, oobleck and goobers. Both of these polymers had something different about them, so we decided to make new polymers that had those properties. We had to do this because if we didn’t, we couldn’t write our materials list. In the end, we succeed in creating identical polymers. After we created our final polymer, it seemed different from the first batch. The second batch seemed stickier than the first. We decided to put 5ml more borax, and it matched the consistency of the first. Our video editor (Max) says that there was no difficulties in making the video. We had to stay after school for the footage though.

Being on the Dream On team was really funny. The videos were great, the polymers were also extremely creative. Judging the polymers were hard because they were all really amazing. Also, some polymers were extremely similar to others so I gave some of them the same grade.

Overall this project was great. Designing and making the polymer was enjoyable, working with my team was fun as well. Also even though it was annoying, the occasional mess-ups were also funny. I think next year this project should continue, it’s a great mix between science and fun.

Our polymer is done, and it meets our goal nicely. Our goal hasn’t changed, we want our slime to be able to seal holes. This is how you use our product. First you tear off some slime and dunk it in hot water for a few seconds. Second you bring out the slime and apply it to holes. It works perfectly, we put hot water into it and doesn’t leak if it is dry. If you mess up the first time, you can try again before it dries.

Our polymer doesn’t have many problems, but one would be that it you reuse (dunk it in hot water) too many times, it becomes too gooey and becomes unusable. I think with this we are perfectly set to start our video and finish this project.