Impressive improvement reflection 2

The challenges in preparing this piece are not so much in the actual notes themselves but rather in the improvisation/additions I hoped to add. Using two mallets with the same hand proved to be a much more challenging task than I originally anticipated, and improvising within the piece required attention to detail. I found that for the second task, I was able to make some adjustments to the piece, in particular through on occasion playing double bass rhythms with my left hand to accompany the melody. As for the first task, I will see whether or not this will be a feasible option for this particular piece.

Impressive improvement reflection 1

What am I doing

I want to practice jazz chords and using two mallets with one hand. This piece features jazz chords that require two mallets to play. Hence, I will practice two etudes that will help my technique to improve my skills. I think that using two mallets with one hand is an interesting skill to learn, and that the additional challenge that comes with potential improvisation on the jazz piece would serve as a great technical showcase for my abilities in mallet percussion.

How I am doing it

I am going to use two technical etudes to improve my technique, which I believe will help me with chords, possible improvisation, and the piece in general. With consistent practice, I hope I will get much better in mallet playing both in terms of technical ability and sight-reading. I will also listen to the song to understand the use of swing in the piece and how Sinatra uses jazz chords effectively. I will try and incorporate this into my practice and final recording.

Practice routine

My practice routine will account for etude practice and actual piece practice before the final recording. I hope that consistent practice every week will set a strong foundation for my skills and help me improve. My practice will consist of three sessions per week, with a focus on song, melody, double mallet, and etude practice with every practice session.

Band reflection

Samuel Soh – Band Reflection


The first 3 weeks have been quite a lot of fun! I was pretty intimidated at first by the thought that Michelle would no longer be around to help me in percussion, and my number one band fear at the start of the year was that the new younger percussionists would think badly of me for screwing up.


But the start of the year has turned out very different from my fears. Going into band this year, I feel like I’m more part of the community than before. I’ve already spent lots of time with friends in band, and I’ve grown close to lots of individuals who I didn’t know so well last year. Every band class is exciting not just because of the music we play, but because I can count on having friends around me who appreciate the same jokes, have similar interests, and are really fun people to be around.


With Michelle gone, I kind of feel a sense of obligation to make sure I’m ready for every class, and also take time to think about what parts the other percussionists will be playing as well. Besides practice, I try to go through music in my head when I have time, perhaps clapping to rhythms I struggle with over and over till I get it right. I’m happy with my preparation for class, and while I’m certainly not as good as Michelle, I hope I’m able to be a good role-model to the younger percussionists.


I’ve also really been enjoying this year’s music. The first couple of short pieces we played were a fun start to the year, kind of like “The Adventure Begins” From last year (or was it called The Adventure Continues? I can’t remember). “Full On Rumble” is really fun to play, especially with the added bass. “Minimalist Dances” looks really simple at first, but it’s pretty challenging when we’re actually playing it. All the songs are pretty nice, sounds like it’ll be a fun year! (It’s a pun, because music makes sound, haha)


I’m pretty excited for Band this year. There’s lots of fun people, fun music, and occasionally OK memes Mr. Long posts on the PPT. All in all, it’s been great so far and I think it’ll continue to be great.

List of Books

Books I’ve Read 8th Grade

  1. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
  2. Animal Farm – George Orwell
  3. A Game of Thrones (Partially) – George R. R. Martin
  4. Mirror Image (Partially) – Tom Clancy
  5. Personal – Lee Child
  6. Hatchet – Gary Paulsen

Summer Reading List

  1. The Hunt for Red October – Tom Clancy
  2. Killing Floor – Lee Child
  3. Die Trying – Lee Child
  4. Tripwire – Lee Child
  5. The Trial – Franz Kafka

Grade 8 Advice

  1. Do your homework






2. Take note of upcoming tests

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3. No Dota in class

Really guys, I understand that some of you get bored in class so you play Dota (and other games but mostly Dota it seems). But seriously, when you’re swiping your screen every 30 seconds while the teacher walks over you are legit risking your own dignity and grades over 25 seconds of spamming attack buttons.

4. Prioritize work

Don’t procrastinate. I mean obviously I don’t procrastinate. It only takes me like what, four hours to finish anything. K maybe not that long.

Science Polymer Project Journal Entry 4

After being given the task for the project, my partner and I knew what we needed to do. We came up with ideas as to what our polymer needed to have (e.g. pliable and sticky) and how we would create our polymer. Then, we tested those ideas and came up with new ones in order to help solve the challenges we faced when coming up with our final product. Certain ideas included changing factors of our prototypes such as the amount of a material we used. Through these changes, a response to variables of the experiment we failed to account for we were able to practice applying critical thinking skills to our projects in order to achieve a desired intention. A skill necessary in a situation where my partner and I would be forced to come up with modifications to modify and retest our polymer prototypes.FullSizeRender

The Dream On presentation day taught us much regarding the abilities of other polymers and the quality of our own. We proposed solutions to other teams in order to show them how to better design their advertisement and rated the impact of their product for them. My partner and I also received critiques from other teams regarding our product. It was a day for reflection of what we had done. With the help of the Dream On presentation day I was able to better understand the requirements for a product with a high impact level, and what to do in the event that I must complete a similar task in the future.

Yunnan – China’s Diverse Province

Yunnan is a place of immense natural beauty. This, toppled with the rich cultures of different Chinese minorities makes it a travel destination for those looking for an active, cultural, and environmental trip. Targeted towards these travelers, my presentation presents key components of Yunnan to readers in order to show them what kind of place Yunnan is. A persuasive presentation advertising the best of Yunnan.



China and Pollution

How has the environment shaped the way people live?

With China’s huge surpluses of coal, much of the nation’s industry has been centered around using the material as a cost-friendly yet eco-hazardous fuel source. While government plans have been made in the past to try and stop the rapid consumption of the nation’s coal resources, there is a lack of action against the excessive amounts of coal consumption in China.

What have people done to change their environment?

In China, much of its natural resources have been used up by its growing population. This is mainly due to how easy it is to obtain crude resources such as coal.

What human-environment relationships are occurring now?

Humans are definitely effecting the environment with the releasing of hazardous material in China, by harnessing the nation’s plentiful resources. However, the environment responds with such hazardous materials being involved in the deaths of millions of people each year (In China alone). The Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning estimated in 2003 that around 300,000 people die every year from air pollution.

What future human-environment relationships are expected?

Because of the amount of pollution being released by China, the nation is in need of proper long term and short term goals to be set as well as the proper enforcement of such goals by the government, along with adequately trained and significant amount of government and local government (province) personnel to carry out necessary anti-biohazard precautions around the entire nation. If actions such as the above take place, China could begin to build towards an environmentally friendly nation. However, if this is not the case and China continues to move on its current coal consumption and pollution rates the severity and scale of the effects of China’s pollution could move to that of an international level, as they have been occurring in nations such as Japan.

How do they affect the land and its inhabitants?

As pollution in China grows worse many deaths associated with pollution and biohazard materials in China will continue to happen. While the endurance the body has to such biohazard and polluted materials may increase after constant exposure, such pollution still serves as an immense threat to the health of the Chinese community.

Science Polymer Project Journal Entry 3

In the end of our second day of experimenting, we had three prototypes. The first of the prototypes was a boogers polymer with additional glue. It had a massive amount of stickiness, yet when we tested it on whether or not it could hold up a poster against a wall, it failed to do so. We figured this was due to the prototype’s very liquid-like form.(Shown right is our first polymer) Our second polymer woIMG_0130uld have to be much more solid, so we decided to add more glue. Unknowingly, we ended up adding more laundry soap then glue. However, this turned out to be in our favor. At the time we were unaware that laundry soap was what caused the glue to solidify. In fact, we thought that the laundry soap would actually cause it to become more liquid like. In the end we got a more solid polymer due to our accidental increase in laundry soap. When we tried sticking the prototype to the same poster we used with the first polymer. For a couple seconds the polymer really did keep the poster attached to the wall. But then, ever so slowly, the poster started to drop. Again, we decided we had to make it even more solid then this.

FullSizeRenderUltimately, the secondIMG_0152 prototype succeeded. While we failed to attach a poster with the wall using the prototype, we were still able to get it to complete its intended task, connecting smaller items such as pencils with walls. Shown left is our second prototype. It is quite liquid like in the picture but dried up in a matter of minutes. Shown right is the second prototype completing its intended task. Only a small amount of the substance (1-2 pinches in this case) needs to be used for a task like this.

Our third and fourth attempts failed. With the third attempt, we decided to add 1.5cm worth the glue instead of 1cm. Being too liquid like, the resulting product failed. I believe this to be due to not enough amounts of laundry soap being there to coup with the excessive amounts of glue. With our fourth product, we accidentally created an even larger version of the third attempt, a result of us not changing the ratio of glue and laundry soap, instead aiming to just put more of both in the cup.

We learned from the third and fourth attempts the necessity for there to be a difference in the ratio of glue and laundry soap when changing the chemical composition of our polymer. Only then would we able to come up with new polymers, each with its own difference characteristics. For our final polymer, I plan to build off our second prototype; increasing the laundry soap to the point where we have a polymer that is both sturdy/solid, pliable, and sticky.