James's blog

the connecting between us and our teacher

Capstone of middle school humanities intro


March 30th, 2018 Posted 6:26 am

For my eights grade capstone project, the issue I would like to make notice of is education in rural areas of China.

At this moment some research questions that I wish to push wards are: why is rural education a problem? what are difficulties when it comes to solving these problems? what is rural education in comparison to urban? what are some things being done at the moment to help the situation.

Along with great hope for success I have fears also, which are we can find the problems, we know what is needed to solve the problem, but in the end it turns out some of the requests are simply too hard to meet.

From this research I hope to gain knowledge on the situation and know what is going well and what’s not in terms of work that is being done right now to help.

Through this project I wish to make more people aware of the situation through providing them with knowledge and guiding questions, so they could have their own thoughts about what they might want to do to be.

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Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine

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March 27th, 2018 Posted 4:41 am

The book “The Poisoners Handbook” by Deborah Blum revolves around the stories of Charles Norris and Alexander Gettler, New York City’s first toxicologists. Before the two main characters began working in the medical examiner’s office, the author points out in her book, that poisoners could get away with murder as poison was basically unidentifiable, and thus untraceable. The book covers the Jazz Age years from 1915 to 1936, which the author describes as a “coming-of-age” for forensic toxicology. Throughout the course of the book the author covers the development of knowledge in the poisons chloroform, wood alcohol, cyanides, arsenic, mercury, carbon monoxide, methyl alcohol, radium, ethyl alcohol and thallium. In the process of explaining the development in forensic science, the author shows Norris and Gettler’s contribution to the medical world in their success in revolutionizing the poison game.

In the beginning the author states that “until the early nineteenth century few tools existed to detect toxic substance in a corpse. Sometimes investigators deduced poison from the violent sickness that preceded death, or built a case by feeding animals a victim’s last meal, but more often than not the poisoner walked free.” (p.1). This sets the scene for the beginning of the chemical revolution, before which investigators didn’t have the tools and knowledge to solve crime. Throughout the book scientists had always been testing and experimenting in order to find more efficient ways to detect poison. One time when they were investigating mercury it says that “it wasn’t a particularly difficult poison to detect in a body. But Gettler had been experimenting with it in smaller and smaller amounts, pushing the limits of Reinsch’s test, following those careful steps of heating, distilling, and condensing it until the pure poison separated out. He tried to improve the sensitivity until he could detect a mere trace.” (p.109-110). This shows the scientists testing and improving their methods of detecting poison.

Towards the end of the book the author concludes that “Norris’s and Gettler’s often thankless work – the long nights in the laboratory, the endless fights with the mayor’s office, the battles against the federal government and big business alike – had produced real results. Norris and Gettler had, indeed, changed the poison game.” (p.272).

Overall the poison game has dramatically changed during this time period. Poisons that used to be untraceable could now be detected easily. Poisoners who used to get away with their crimes were now (in 1936) sent the electric chair.

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French Revolution in Plain English

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March 11th, 2018 Posted 11:56 pm

Starting in 1789 the French revolution had changed France in the most dramatic ways. During the revolution France abolished the monarchy, executed its king, and switched its governing statues to a republic. Along with new laws the government was now ran by elected officials. Thus we have the modern France. Here is a video to take you through the major events of the French Revolution in chronological order.

8th grade PE Aquatics Unit

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November 23rd, 2017 Posted 7:24 am

In this 8th grade PE unit of aquatics there were two main areas of focas was one water polo and second swimming. My focus stroke of swimming was freestyle. At the beginning of our 12 lesson unit we first started with righting smart goals. Smart stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. The smart aspect was intended to conform that our goal was reasonable. Throughout the 12 lessons I feel like that there has been some improvements of my stroke. Improvements include head position which helps with the stream line position. Another improvement is the pull aspect of freestyle. My pull used to be very bendy with no fixed position each time I took a stroke. Now my pull is much nicer plus I have a much more extended entry and straighter arm. Also now in my recovery my elbow is much higher. Our swim training was based on the HIIT (high intensity interval training) and FITT (frequency intensity time type). These practices helped me improve my stroke position but also helped with my overall consistency of good quality swimming over longer periods of time with little rest.

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Humanities Class Poem

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November 23rd, 2017 Posted 3:53 am


From here

Song of Spring by James Oswell [STUDENT]

In Earth’s heavens,

Where there’s bright beams that shine down from the galaxy

And rich pure air that is breathed around.

Is where trees the gentle giants of mother earth’s blessing spurt.

It was like any morning over here,

The wind played the rhythm and birds sang out loud.

Then the peace was broken with the zing zing of saws.

A savage butcher with a pitch black heart,

Reckless with only saws in hands and trees in eyes,

He headed straight for them and it was now that nature new, all hope was lost.

With the birds airborne with a shudder a new song started,

The song of nature’s shrieks and the zing zing of saws.

Cut down like prisoners of war not worth a second thought,

Tortured yet powerless we fall to the ground.

We serve them but yet they seem not to care.

Sooner or later we’ll all face our ancestors fate.

We have served humans for as long as time,

Your ancestors used to worship us as gods,

And yet so soon you only see us as numbers

We will soon be gone and you won’t survive,

We’ll all be history no longer reality.

But what choices do we have?

Besides to serve this world to our death,

Though I know it’s no use I still say this.

Stop now please it’s your very last chance.

Stop deforestation.

Put an end to this song, the melancholy song of spring.



Writing a poem is something that I am doing for the first time. Here you see the poem. It was an eights grade humanities class progect. We first looked at many poem examples that the teacher prepared and then we wrote our own. Writing the poem was quite exiting with no limitations to what you can or can not write though presenting the poem later to the class was not so pleasant.

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Posted in humanities

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November 20th, 2017 Posted 2:45 am

My initial thoughts of the boxer rebellion are that the boxers were poorly educated people who acted in brutal violence before knowing the full story. Their actions were ridicules, only seeing from their side of the picture the boxers through their reckless actions led China to destruction.
The biggest question that I hold is why didn’t the empire of the time stop these boxers from inflicting a war with the foreigners.

October Blog Post

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October 27th, 2017 Posted 4:20 am

Cirque du Freak the Vampire’s Assistant. Vampire’s assistant is the second book in the cirque du freak series by Darren Shan after the first book A living Nightmare. In the poster internal conflict of the main character Darren is shown. Because Darren is a half vampire (he gets turned towards the end of the first book) one of the many challengers is the fact that he needs to drink blood in order to survive, and he cannot only live on animal blood, he needs to drink from humans. At the moment he is only a half vampire meaning he’s still half human. This is why he has been refusing to drink human blood up to the point now that if he does not drink any time soon he will die. The first quote (bottom right on the poster) shows Darren already growing weak and although he knows he is going to die soon he is still trying to avoid drinking from a human. Here he is really a bit at war with himself not knowing whether to drink from a human or to let himself die not doing so. The second quote (top left on the poster) taken towards the end of the story shows Darren in his final decision, to accept his nature and drink, although still very unwillingly. This conflict of Darren’s comes up again and again throughout the story and in a way takes the story forwards. The poster was done in Microsoft Word and the image was pulled from Yahoo images.

Humanities Post

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October 20th, 2017 Posted 1:28 am

The magazine cover above show the characterization of Hermia from A MidSummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. I chose to make the cover on the character Hermia because I thought she was a very interesting character in the play.

Cirque Du Freak a Living Nightmare

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September 25th, 2017 Posted 2:04 am


In the book Cirque Du Freak a Living Nightmare by Darren Shan at the start you are introduced to two main characters Darren and Steve. Steve as the second most important character changes a lot in the rising action and does some really incredible things. Through his contrasting actions Steve proves to be a fully dynamic character who pumps the rising action forward.

In this book the rising action is based around the two best friends Steve and Darren two kids who finds a poster for a freak show, the Cirque Du Freak, and how they find ways around their parents to go watch the show composing of both stealing enough money and sneaking out of the house at midnight. After they get to the show and meat the freaks is when the story really begins. During the time of preparing to go to the show and after the show Steve’s attitude towards a specific freak, the vampire, dramatically changes. On the night of the show Darren goes to Steve’s house so that they could leave together. That day when the boys were together, just before they left, they were looking through old horror books they suddenly stopped and specific noted how to kill a vampire: “’Does a stake have to be made out of wood?’[Darren] asked… ‘No,’[Steve] said. ‘It can be metal or ivory, even plastic as long as it’s hard enough to go tight through the heart.’ ‘And that will kill a vampire?’ [Darren] asked. ‘Every time,’ [Steve] said. “(Shan44-45). And goes on telling more about what steps to take when eliminating a vampire. At this point as a reader you have no idea why this specific information is included, it seems completely random. Later after the show instead of leaving Steve stays behind to find the vampire, one of the actors. After all the other visitors have left Steve finds the vampire alone face to face. At this point it seems that the conversation before about how to kill a vampire all makes sense, the conversation is build up to Steve hunting a real vampire which could possibly happen now, but instead of killing the vampire he asks “’I want to join you,’” (103). This really contrast from what his previous action foreshadows and really came out of nowhere. There is really no reason given in the previous part of the story as to why he might make this action.

Through such a contrasting action the main character Steve proves himself to be truly not expectable person whose attitude could differ from his previous actions, changing so quickly and coming out of nowhere. Will you dare keep a guy like this close by?

8th grade mentoring trip reflection

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September 19th, 2017 Posted 3:56 am

On Monday 2017 Sep.11 our class along with several other classes went on our first 8th grade mentoring trip. On this trip we went on two main events, one was the via ferrata which was a climbing activity where your are clipped onto a rope and you had to climb along the face of a mountain, and the other was a raft building activity where in groups you built and tested a raft. I demonstrated inquiry, critical thinking and problem solving on the via ferrata. At first I thought that I would not be able to complete, I was afraid of hights and very afraid, but I overcame my struggles in the end. The raft building was very challenging. It was very difficult for me to carry out teamwork.

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Posted in mentoring