Reading Goals

My summer reading goal…

Finish all the books I borrowed from the library.

And ten other books

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The 360 View of China


Panorama was created after two months of hard work from my teammates—Vanessa, Victor, Jerry—and I. After our trips to minority park and Pingyao, we wrote travel articles, created infographics, drew maps, and finally put together this magazine. This piece showcases our learning and growth such as knowledge on Chinese culture and geography, social study skills, and especially layout and design. We hope you enjoy our magazine that gives a panorama of China.

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Polymer Journal #4

Developing our final prototype wasn’t the easiest thing ever. Our group had to move through the design process repeatedly and failures were definitely not fun. Not until the final lab class we created a polymer that we were satisfied with.


The first step in the design process was defining ideas. This step was the easiest (at least compared to the others) because the basic idea, a polymer that would protect things from breaking, was decided for us. All we had to do was come up with the type of object we are protecting and that was our phone. The second step was developing solutions. This was the step that we came back to multiple times. Our first solution was a phone that would bounce up to the owner’s hands, but during the next step, optimizing prototypes, we realized that that was very difficult. That was why we went back to the second step and tweaked the design a bit so that our ideal polymer was actually realistic. After that, we moved forward to the third step. During the testing stage, we realized that for the polymer to actually stay on the phone, we needed ‘stickiness’, so we went back again and added that feature. Finally, after a few changes in our design from step two, we created our final polymer.

From the number of times we had to go back and forth from step two and three from the design process, we could tell how much struggles we faced. However, we had valuable lessons during the process. The first thing we learned was how to be flexible. If we were fixed with our original design, and wouldn’t adapt to the situation given, it would have been much harder to approach our final polymer. Because we went through so many struggles, we learned that a flexible mind would make things so much easier. Another thing we learned was the value of positivity. It was hard to have a completely perfect polymer. Even our final wasn’t the best it could be. But if we fussed over the one or two minor flaws, nothing would have been done. Positivity made work highly efficient and made us eager to create another prototype rather than breaking down because of failure. That’s where we learned the value of positivity.


Our learning continued during the ‘Dream On’ presentation. We learned the many different ways you can appeal to an audience and deliver a message. I was especially surprised by one of the videos that used stop motion of dolls to sell their product. It was a very creative idea that I would like to ‘steal’ for future videos.

Polymer Ad on Vimeo:

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Why should I care?

Why should I care? Many people, including myself, ask this question. Disregard, ignorance, and neglect—these negative traits are often found in our society. In the novel The Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie, these narrow-minded thoughts causes the conflict to intensify; similarly, in our world, neglect often leads to disagreements and despair.


Everything started with the death of Major Palgrave: “’It’s Major Palgrave. He’s dead’” (Christie 23). Because it has been known that Palgrave had high blood pressure and Serenite tablets were found in his room, it was deemed natural and he was soon buried. The death was “a slightly unpleasant incident, but one that was soon forgotten” (32) since nobody cared about a garrulous old man. However, there were some suspicious points: “She herself never remembered seeing the Major take tablets; he had never spoken about his blood pressure” (37). It was just that no one noticed because they didn’t care. Under the ignorance, another death happened: “Victoria. Somebody’s put a knife in her” (99). Finally, people realized that there was a killer on the loose and started taking action: “They agreed that things looked fishy, so they dug up old Palgrave and had a look” (121). If only people cared about Major Palgrave and listened to his stories, catching the killer would have been much easier, and no more sacrifices would have occurred. This is how neglect lead to even more misery.


The same situation repeats not only in fiction but also in reality. Murders, kidnaps, arson, burglary… We often ignore the news reports on those ‘unimportant’ things and turn the channel. Just because those disastrous events didn’t come upon us, we say that ‘It only happens to other people’. But things don’t always flow according to our anticipations. Only when misery creeps into our lives, we realize how significant those ‘unimportant’ things were. Neglect blinds us from the truth, stops us from bringing a positive change to the world, and brings despair. By paying attention to the ‘wanted’ posters on the walls, we may catch the serial killer. By listening to the story of the unfortunate kid that lost his mother, we can perhaps help him find a new life. Erasing ignorance and opening up our mind will bring a new blanket called hope and cover all of the grief.


Why should I care about the death of an annoying old man that kept blabbering about his younger days? Why should I care about all of the superfluous stories of random accidents that were included in the news just to make it look like it had a lot of information? Well, it is precisely those narrow-minded and lazy thoughts that complicate the situation and bring sorrow.



Citation for picture:

“Ignorance is not Bliss” Recovering Grace. Web. 3 May. 2016. <>.

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Polymer Journal #3

Over the past few days, many prototypes with different characteristics were developed. The first pink prototype was created with a gloop base and an additional 2mL of borax. Just like the characteristic of borax, the first prototype was very bouncy yet hard to mold. The bounce suited our goal but the lack of stretchiness limited the phone case’s ability to actually cover the phone. On the other hand, the second gloop-based green prototype was created with an additional 10g of glue. This made the polymer very sticky, which, of course, was a strength because it helped the phone case to actually stay on the phone. However, it had a hopeless flaw: it lost its bounciness. This prototype was an absolute fail because it strayed from the original objective. The third blue prototype was created with the original gloop base with 1g of guar gum and 5g of glue. It was definitely more flexible than prototype one and still maintained its bounciness; however, when stretched, it broke when it came to a certain point and was not able to be molded into a phone case. The final prototype was perhaps the most successful of them all. From the past three prototypes, it was concluded that gloop was not the best base to use, so this time, the base was boogers. With an additional 1g of guar gum and 10mL of borax, the polymer found a reasonable balance between bounciness, stretchiness, and stickiness.

Popplet (mind map) of the different prototypes:

Coming closest to our design goal, it was obvious that the fourth and the final prototype was the best of them all. It could actually be molded into a phone case, remained bouncy, and had a nice little stickiness so that it attached to the phone. During the whole process, we had to give up the part where the phone case bounced right back into the user’s hands because the polymer lost its extreme bounce when flat; therefore, the design was changed into a simple phone case that had some bounce to protect the phone from breaking. In future prototypes, we will pursue the ‘golden ratio’ between borax, glue, liquid starch, and guar gum that will improve the function of the phone case.

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Polymer Journal #2

All of the four basic polymers—oobleck, gloop, boogers, super slime—had different properties. Oobleck was an ever-changing substance that became solid when the pressure was applied and remained a liquid normally. Gloop bounced a lot when dropped from a certain height, but quickly broke apart when stretched. On the other hand, boogers was very stretchy but was sticky. Finally, the super slime was, just like its name, slimy.


Because one of the characteristics our polymer was ‘bouncy’, as mentioned in the previous journal entry, the most obvious choice was gloop as it was very springy. However, the gloop was hard to stretch and was difficult to mold into different shapes. That was why stretchiness from boogers should be added. To do this, we will create our own recipe using the materials, borax and either PVA solution or glue, used to make gloop and boogers. We are also considering guar gum to add some elastic properties.


Testing our prototypes will be done in two steps. First, we will drop the polymer and record how much it bounces. The higher it bounces, the better the polymer would be. Then, we try molding the polymer into specific shapes. If it can be molded into a phone case, it would be a success.


Example of a drop test:

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Christie’s Caribbean

The multimedia above depicts the setting and the mood of the story. It is a series of three pictures that illustrates the Caribbean in the book The Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie. The colored pictures are normal sceneries of the Caribbean, which is the setting of the book. However, the quotes say that because nothing interesting was happening, even the most striking landscapes become dull: “The weather was always the same—fine. No interesting variations” (Christie 22). To match the quote and the dreary mood created by such lines, the colored pictures turn black and white. Therefore, the whole video is explaining the setting and mood of the novel.

Citation for the pictures:

“Caribbean Flights.” ElJets Private Aviation Blog. WordPress, 06 June 2013. Web. 25 Apr. 2016. <>.
“City Pictures, City Wallpapers.” RSS. 4homepages, 2 Sept. 2009. Web. 25 Apr. 2016. <>.
“Hotel Profile: Jade Mountain.” Travel Hyper. N.p., Feb. 2012. Web. 25 Apr. 2016. <>.
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Polymer Journal #1

The purpose of our polymer is to prevent objects from breaking. Specifically, it will be a phone case that will minimize the effects of a phone drop. Through this polymer, it will satisfy the needs of our target audiences, clumsy phone owners, by eradicating the chances of their phone breaking. The original phone cases have attempted to provide cushioning; however, they failed because the appealing appearance diminished the effects. Therefore, the new Jemima phone case will create a functional phone case that actually works. Which means that the polymer will absorb the force and prevent any cracks. The phone case will also be bouncy so that the dropped phone will bounce right back in to the owner’s hands when dropped. The appearance will be simple—with only one unique color that can be specially chosen by the customer.



Created by


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SHOCKING NEWS: a parabola found outside of math class

Parabolas are not just in math classes. Yes, SHOCKING. Did you know that they are everywhere, even in your dear pencil you held earlier today? Yes, it is true. Anything that has a parabolic motion or is a curve can be a parabola. For example, a ball that you throw, the wipers on your car, the water fountain you drank from, or the even wire of your charger are all potential parabolas.

But there are some key points you need to add to a moving pencil to make it an actual, real world applicable parabola. You need variables, a, b, and c values, vertexes, y intercepts, etc (discussed in the video). Among those many details, one that really makes the parabola authentic is the restriction. A graph needs to be restricted to make it fit the situation. For example, if the graph is time vs height, there needs to be a restriction saying that the value for time has to be greater than zero, since there cannot be a negative time. Just like this, the restrictions will be a great help in making the graph genuine.


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The Iranian Revolution through the American eyes

Martin Smith was an American man who went to Iran in his twenties to start a business. He was very ambitious and confident in his future and decided to keep a record of his success. Thus, this journal was born.

The journal was embedded through slidesnack.

There were many changes and continuities after the Iranian revolution. First of all, the relationship with the United States changed greatly. Before the revolution and when Mohammad Reza Shah was in power, the U.S. gave unlimited support to the Iranian government. However, after Khomeini came into power, and especially after the U.S. hostage crisis, the support was completely withdrawn. Also, there was a big change in the government of Iran. Previously, a monarch ran the government, and this was going on for centuries until Mohammad Reza Shah. After the revolution, Iran turned into an Islamic Republic and the leader became a president, not a monarch. Another change was the women’s rights. During the reign of Mohammad Reza Shah, a White Revolution happened which slightly increased the right of the women and allowed them to take off their veils. Nevertheless, Khomeini made the women wear their veils again and decreased their right. But this was a minor change, and the women always remained inferior to the men throughout the revolution, which was continuity. An additional feature that stayed the same was the influence of Islam. Although the position of the clergy altered in the revolution, Islam persisted as the official religion. To sum up, the Iranian revolution was an impactful event that brought many changes, but yet again maintained some traditional values of Iran.


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