Reflections for the Big Board

  1. As a group, we collaborated well and always communicated. The product turned out to be fascinating. I thought collaborating would be difficult between us mates cause we are sometimes off task but it turned out to be some extra worries. Everyone did what they were assigned with and we finished the tasks successfully.

2. Although our product was brilliant, we made two mistakes. The first mistake was the sloppy paint job for the board, there were parts painted well and parts with too much paint. Places with too much paint look rough and were unsmooth. Another mistake was that we forgot to paint one side of one figure. That looked “outstanding”. We should’ve double checked with the pieces.

3. One challenge that we faced was the planning process, we were unfocused at first, we all had different ideas, Erick wanted to do Jenga and Elgin wanted to do something else. At last, everyone agreed to do chess because we found the task a challenge and that was the main idea for one day, to do something challenging.

4. One day is important because we could have an opportunity to expand our boundaries. In this one day, I used my design and art skills to construct a DIY chess board. This is my first time designing a life-sized game and would not be the last.



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Life-Sized Chess

For the planning sessions, our group(Richard, Erick, Zhiqi, Henry, Elgin and, Centauri) designed multiple plans for today, starting from Jenga to Kerplunk, and finally chess. We learned a lot throughout this day. We mastered the strategy to build, carve, and measure.



Our group planned out our chess board. We measured precisely and used our skills to draw the lines. The final product is like this. This is a 120cm*120cm board with squares 15cm*15cm.


After we made our board, we begin designing our pieces. At first, we wanted to paint it black and white. However, we found painting another color a terrible choice because it decreases the durability of the game. Our pieces turned out to be brown(original color) and black.

After we finished everything, we played a round of the product of today. We enjoyed the game. We did that to make sure our game could “survive” in games when played by MS/HS students. At last, we would like to go back to our origin, our goal is to use what we have to bring happiness to the ISB community.

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The Bank of Vocabulary

Verbal advantage by Charles Harrington Elster is not a dictionary. According to the author, this book is NOT a dictionary. The word dictionary in the dictionary merely gives the meaning of a word. In the book verbal advantage, the Author wants the reader to implement high-quality words in daily life. Elster in the prologue gave points about modern English. Among those points, I concur with 2 main ones. 1. people using low-quality English in daily life. 2. the best way to improve your English vocabulary is through accumulation. (Reading, flash cards…)

One point that I totally agree with Elster is that, as a writer, it is painful to see normal people speaking catastrophic English. When I was in LA for summer school, I participated in a leadership event. I expected the competition to be intense. (Only the best gets to do a speech) Yet the end result turned out to insane. The native students did terrible in the elections. In their scripts, there are countless slang words like ok, cool, ain’t, ya’ll. According to what I know, those words are used in day to day conversations not speeches in front of hundreds of people. Just imagine a successful president saying those words during his/her election. (Successful President doesn’t = Donald Trump) To prevent grammar errors, Elster gave examples of the word and would tell the readers how to use it. There’s even a CD for more details. On page XIV, the author included the quote from William Raspberry.” English, well spoken and well written, will open more doors than a college degree…bad English will slam doors that you don’t even know exists.” This shows how Elster wants to let people speak fine English, using people’s “doors” as a consequence.


As a foreign learner, I had a terrible start for English. What Elster said in the book, saying that accumulation is the key to vocabulary taught me a precious lesson. In page XIX, the author claimed that”Verbal advantage will boost your vocabulary and enhance your verbal skills, but remember that your verbal development did not start and would not end with it.” This reflects that verbal development is a life-long task and accumulation is key. Using myself as an example, while I was preparing for the SSAT, I memorized a shelf of verbal books. However, those short term verbal boosts did not impact much. Although my quality of words improved drastically, my utilization of the words is still of disaster. Countless grammar errors bug me and I’ll admit, I was lost with the language. However, this book gave me a pass. Now I read at least 30 min of English every day and, although still wrong sometimes, my vocabulary usage does not remain as an obstacle for communication.

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What Changed and Remained?

What had changed in Russia from 1905-1939?

Russia changed dramatically from 1905-1939. Another form of government took over Russia during this time. Tsar Nicholas the second brought the land starvation and warfare. Russia experienced world war one, which had a devastating impact on Russia. People begin quitting jobs and the food problem got even bigger. The tsar was finally abjured in 1917. After that, Lenin took control and fought with the people who opposed him. Lenin soon died leaving a chaotic society. Because of the peace treaty, outside forces extracted most of the scarce resources in Russia. For example, Coal, they had to give up 70% of their coal to other countries. Then comes to the battle between Stalin and Trotsky. Stalin won and industrialized Russia. Speeding up the development of this torn-apart country. In conclusion, Russia did not solve the problem of hunger but established good military power.


What had stayed the same from 1905-1939?

What did not change is the status of peasants. They produced everything that people needed but no one returned the favor. The government begin fighting with forces from outside (world war 1) then got lacerated inside (red against the white, the right arguing with the left about policies). After all of the arguments, the new leader Stalin did not care much of those peasants. In conclusion, the peasants still remained as the poorest and the most unfortunate. The men could rebel but the gulag is always opened for them.

In 1939, how were Sergei’s and Alexander’s lives the same or different from 1905?

During this period, Alexander experienced a dramatic change internally, because of starvation and pressure. He tried to suicide but every time, people found him and stopped him. Starting from a poor but at least something called a family to a nothing but a slave in Gulag. He lost everything, love, children, future. However, his social status did not change much, like before, he was in a situation that cannot get worse. This poor man, starving, having all of his family dead, has nothing left on this tragic planet. But god just wants this man to suffer. He got shot in the leg once in the Gulag. They planned to shoot him at night but they somehow took the wrong person. Now Alexander works with a leg with a bullet inside. Devastation lies inside him, but there is no way for him to get liberated from it.





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Carli’s Team History


This is a brief description of the theme. The Theme of this book is about the transition of teams where Carli’s position and importance vary drastically every time. Therefore, her position in the team affects her attitude towards training.

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The Soccer Goddess

Carli Lloyd, representation of American soccer and own the golden boots. Nevertheless, Carli suffered lots from critics and teammates, such prodigy once got kicked from the U 21 team. Her career made her a person of control, courage, and perspiration.

Carli Lloyd is a person of control because she never does things that would make her unfit or things that put her in a bad condition for soccer. According to James the trainer, she never eats things grilled and fired(which actually makes you suffer). In page 267, Carli said that”during the flight, I order a cheeseburger and fries, a meal that I wouldn’t have for years.” This shows that she controls what she eats(which I can’t) and would be one of her significant characteristics. In addition, she controls herself even when she isn’t training. That includes the Christmas Eve and Thanksgiving. It said that on page 178 where she ran 5 kilometers on Christmas Eve. She also trained with James on Thanksgiving. This shows her willingness to train and her abstinence.

Carli Lloyd is courageous because she takes risks in everything. Both in matches and daily life. She had an argument with her family which she actually moved our and that.

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The Representative of Freedom

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The Welcoming Cat

One thing that I can change about our robot would be its function. I would reprogram the cat and add a sensor. That would allow the cat to interact with other children. The kids would enjoy our product more.
Our biggest success is that we utilized sketching skills to make our product realistic and by using cardboard, we made it 3 dimensional. Although our project did not end up with a sensor, we challenged our boundaries by programming the automatic moving system.
Our biggest obstacle is that we did not know how to program our cat and that we could not use the sensor properly. Another thing is that our cat was not proper;y designed, at last, it needed bolster to stand. Originally, it could stand independently.
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Where Is My Blue Sky


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Rest in Twinge!!!


Depicts how desperate Yael is to kill Hitler and save the planet. Story set in Germania, where Hitler won in the world war and how this girl called Yael will assassinate him through a race. My poem mainly talks about the setting where a girl, with the blessing of four wolves, is on her way to kill Hitler. Hitler, the tyrant is a demon, killing millions of innocent lives. Yael in this poem used hatred and animosity to accentuate this specific concept. In the poem, you can see that Yael seeks revenge and the story would be surrounded by that.

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