Tips That Will Save Your 8th Grade Life

1. Look at the rubric

Honestly without the rubric, I don’t think you can survive any subject.


2. Put a lot of effort in each project

Everything counts! So you should put effort in every single project no mater how small it may be.


3. Collaborate well!

There may be a lot of individual work, but you still have to cooperate well with people.


4. Be friends with the teachers

There is nothing better than getting help from the teacher and communicating well with them.


5. Time management!

If your an 8th grader you need to be well at managing time. Don’t go home and immediately start gaming or watching the latest episode of your favorite TV show, make sure you’re done with all your homework.


6. Pay attention during class

Going back to tip 1, the rubric may help you, but your teacher will also give you a lot tips during class so listen closely.


7. Sleep early

By the time you’re in 8th grade, you’re probably going to think that sleeping late is cool. Let me tell you the truth: it’s not. The only exception of sleeping late is if you have an overload of homework.


8. Actually, do your homework

Of course people do their homework, but this tip means to actually do your homework. Don’t create something that clearly shows lousiness, put effort in it (tip 2).


9. Don’t get too distracted because of your social life

Facebook, Skype, Twitter, Tumblr, yes, all of these types of social media can help you communicate with people, but they can also become a distraction. Don’t get distracted from your homework just because you’re busy skyping your friend.


10. Enjoy functions and special events

It won’t hurt to go to some school functions, participate in spirit weeks or smile week. (:


Featured Image here

Gifs from here


The Best Books On One Table

table books

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The Best Books On One Table

1. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

This book starts by introducing Charlie Gordon, who has a disease that makes him stupid. Until scientists discover one possible way to make him smart and starts the experiment on Charlie…

2. The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

Set during the Holocaust, this book is about two boys, Bruno and Shmuel, that become best friends even though their bloodlines are enemies…

3. Uglies by Scott Westerfield

In a society where at a certain age you must get plastic surgery to become beautiful. Tally was ready to become as pretty as everybody else and not called an ugly, until she forced to go on a mission to bring back her friend…

4. I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

I can’t say much about this book because it would spoil everything, so here’s my explanation: it’s an action-packed fantasy story.

5. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

I literally (even though Mr. Herzberg is going to say something about my use of literally) could not take my eyes off this book, it is very intense and action-packed.

It Can Become Either Medicine or Poison

feed book cover-min(click on picture for bigger image)

There are 1.44 billion monthly users on Facebook, in Twitter, there are 302 million monthly active users. These facts just show how often people use social media and access it. This may seem like a lot of people, however, in the book Feed by M.T. Anderson it is worse. Like I said in the exposition post, we may have to face challenges with accessing social media because of places with no Internet or service, but the “feed” is able to connect and be online whenever. In this book, it has negative effects on people, which takes us to the theme: technology should be used wisely.

This story may be set in a different time period, and different setting, but I believe that the author is sending us a message. People get too distracted by the new features of technology and don’t notice that it is slowly talking over. In Feed, the chip in there brain was basically a key to the world, where everything was easy. There was a “Lunar GPS” (86), “m-chatting” (103), recommendations of where to go, what to get, what to eat, basically everything. The protagonist, Titus, also gets confused during the process of realizing what’s right and wrong. If a limit was set, or something was done to regulate the use of the “feed”, the society might not have gotten too addicted. However, it was 24/7 “feed”, and was not used wisely, therefore have a negative effect.

This is a new book cover I created based on the information I have. There is a boy looking at two screens: one is Violet, and another is the “feed”. The boy is Titus and he is surrounded by two opposites, a place that doesn’t need technology (Violet), and a place where technology is every where (“feed”).

Original Poem: The So-Called Utopia

During class, we started a new unit: Poetry. What made this unit more special was that an Australian slam poet, Luka Lesson, visited our school. He also had a few workshops with us that helped us with writing poetry. One of our assignments during class was to create an original poem, so here is mine:

The So-Called Utopia

There once was a world,
A magical place that stories were told,
It was told to be absolutely perfect,
But was it as people expected?

Beautiful colors lived there,
Red, blue, yellow.
The purest colors were there,
White and black whom created shades and light.

Then people started using magnifying glasses,
Where were the other classes?
Green, orange, purple,
Colors would not mix.

The colors would not get close to each other,
To them, other colors were disgusting.
All of them were too unlike,
Their distance between each other grew.

No, that magical place wasn’t perfect at all,
It was actually overflowing with crises,
Places bombarded, blasted, blowed up with bombs,
Other places struggling through other disasters.

There once was a world,
A magical place that stories were told,
It was told to be absolutely perfect,
And now it is gone.

Confusion, Realization, Development, A Playlist

Have you ever been confused in what decision you have to make? Or who you should trust? In the book Feed by M.T. Anderson, there is a person vs society conflict, where technology is basically controlling the people. To me, I could predict what was going to happen throughout the story. Titus was going to realize the threats of the “feed”, and he was going to try and stop it, but in this progress a sudden person vs self conflict appears. Titus is confused on the decisions he has to make and throughout the book he also develops. This is a playlist showing the process.


“Have Some Fun” by Pitbull (featuring The Wanted)

“All I wanna do is have some fun,
I got a feeling, that I’m not the only one,
All I wanna do is take you home,
I got a feeling, this party has just begun,
It’s all I want,
I got a feeling, that I’m not the only one,
It’s all I want,
And I got a feeling, that you’re gonna give me some,
It’s all I want,
Baby, it’s all I want…”

At first, Titus is just a teenage boy that parties a lot with his friends Link and Marty. Even though they aren’t allowed to, they “break into mini-bar[s]” (66) looking for alcohol and, even though they are under age, they go to clubs. Titus is introduced as an immature teenager.

“Start of Something New” by Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens

Living in my own world,
Didn’t understand,
That anything can happen,
When you take a chance,
I never believed in,
What I couldn’t see,
I never opened up my heart,
To all the possibilities,
I know that something has changed,
Never felt this way,
And right here tonight,
This could be the start,
Of something new,
It feels so right,
To be here with you,

When Titus first meets Violet, he immediately falls in love. After hanging out with Violet, Titus learns a different kind of fun, instead of going to clubs and drinking. Anderson writes, “[they] drive out to the country…[and they] go for a walk” (244). That was the first time Titus has fun without using any type of technology.

“Fake Plastic Trees” by Radiohead

“Her green plastic watering can for her fake Chinese rubber plant,
In the fake plastic earth,
What she bought from a rubber man,
In a town full of rubber bands to get rid of itself,
It wears her out, it wears her out,
It wears her out, it wears her out…”

This song is about a woman who continues to water her fake Chinese rubber plant when the plant doesn’t need water because it’s fake. After analyzing this song, it has a meaning that there is falseness in the society and people create facades to cover who they really are. In this song, the woman is continuously watering the fake plant in order to create an image that she is “green” and takes good care of plants. The line “in a town full of rubber bands to get rid of itself” means that like the Chinese rubber plant, the town is full of fakes. In the book, Titus notices that the government has created facades that makes people trust that with the “feed” the world is a utopia.

“Who Am I” by Casting Crowns

“I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow,
A wave tossed in the ocean,
A vapor in the wind,
Still you hear me when I’m calling,
Lord, you catch me when I’m falling,
And you told me who I am,
I am Yours,
Not because of who I am,
But because of what you’ve done,
Not because of what I’ve done,
But because of who you are…”

This song describes someone who thinks that he is in possession of someone and what he has done so far should not be credited to him but someone else. Although Titus has realized what the government has done, there is a phase when he is deeply confused about himself. Being next to Violet, there were times when he thought he “was stupid” (212), and times when he thought if he was just a robot being controlled by the “feed”.

“True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper

“But I see your true colors,
Shining through,
I see your true colors,
And that’s why I love you,
So don’t be afraid to let them show,
Your true colors,
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow…”

This may be a song that is talking to someone, but it represent Titus’s situation because in the end he notices his true colors, and what is wrong and right.

Lyrics here

Featured Image here

Pitbull Image here

High School Musical Image here

Radiohead Image here

Casting Crowns Image here

Cyndi Lauper Image here

The Feed Corrupts

Years ago, flying a rocket to space was considered impossible. Currently, the first rocket has already successfully landed on the Moon and there are satellites flying in space, which shows that technology has evolved greatly. In the book Feed by M.T. Anderson, which is about fifty years into the future, technology has developed once more. In fifty years, people have created a chip called “feed” that is implanted in people’s brains. However, this chip has shown negative effects on people, which is the start of the person vs society conflict that the protagonist, Titus, has to face in this book.

The “feed” has shown many advantages to people that has made life very easy. This chip allows people to communicate anywhere at any time without needing to connect to the Internet like we currently do. When moving to different places, advertisements and recommendations automatically pop up depending on our likes. Not only is the chip the only piece of new invention, but also, even though it takes a lot of money, people can fly to the Moon, Mars, or Venus whenever they want.

Although this technology-developed world seems like a utopia, it is actually a dystopia. This newly created technology has made people rely on it more, making them very lazy. Titus is also one of the people that relies on technology. When he saw someone writing this was his reaction: “[he] looked at her funny. ‘You write?’ [he] said. ‘With a pen?’” (129). This type of technology has also made security very weak, and the government could see every movement or decision that everyone made. Of course there were protests, Anderson writes, “They were protesting all these things, some of them even were protesting the feed. They were shouting, ‘Chip in my head? I’m better off dead! Chip in my head? I’m better off dead!’” (67). However, the majority of the population did not recognize this threat, so didn’t Titus, until he meets Violet.

As soon as Titus meets Violet, he falls in love with her, but soon he notices that she’s different. Unlike others, she wasn’t fortunate enough to get the chip as soon as she was born, so she had more time to realize the wrong and rights of the society. As Violet and Titus gets closer, Violet teaches him what the government is actually trying to do. Although Titus is not fully convinced, Violet starts to dig into the problem.

Featured Image here

The Impact of the Boer War

Would you rather be a “rooinek” and a “pisskop” or a great chief that is honored by many people? Most people would want to be the great chief instead of being an insulted loser. Unfortunately, Peekay is on a tightrope between those two names (even though he really wants to be the chief). Peekay is the protagonist of the book The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay where he is forced to go to a boarding school. He doesn’t adapt well to his new environment nor does his peers give him an easy time. Then, when the holiday starts he goes back to his old home, which he especially likes because he can see his nanny. As the setting changes, the mood also affected, which shows that setting does in fact affect the mood of the story.

The historical context played a very important reason why the boarding school wasn’t welcomed in the boarding school. This book was set in 1939, when Hitler was very impacting not only South Africa but also the entire world. It was also after the brutal Boer War, which influenced the boarding school a lot. The first Boer War was from December 16, 1880, to March 23, 1881, and it was a fight between the British and Transvaal (former province in northeastern South Africa) Boers. In the end, the British government signed a truce with Boer, but the conflict didn’t stop there. From October 11, 1899, to May 31, 1902, was the Second Boer War. This was an international conflict, making the impact more significant. It was fought between the British Empire and two Boer republics. The British Empire won the two Boer republics with 75,000 brutal deaths and only 22,000 British soldiers of those. Through this, other Boer republics also surrendered. This created unpleasant relations between the two.

Peekay has the looks of a caucasian and can only speak English while the other students can only speak the Afrikan language. The Afrikan’s hatred aims towards Peekay: “I spoke the language that had pronounced the sentences that had killed their grandfather and sent their grandmother to the world’s first concentration camps, where they had died like flies from dysentery, malaria, and blackwater fever” (4). They harshly treated Peekay by “pissing on [him]” (5) and he was “beaten up” (7) most of the time. The students would also give death threats and swear at Peekay when talking to him. This setting gave a melancholic, apprehensive, and nightmarish mood.

When the place that the protagonist is changed, it also showed change in mood. Peekay got to spend the holiday with his nanny and he got to go back to his old house. Unlike when he was surrounded by the students he actually “started to giggle” (13), and he could completely forget about the torturous boarding school. While, in the boarding school, Peekay’s “eyes were a bit swollen from crying” (4) because of the bullying, when leaving his nanny, “tears flowed copiously” (13) as he didn’t want to leave. When Peekay was in his old home, it felt peaceful, relaxed, and empowered.

In The Power of One, it clearly showed the setting affects the mood of the story. This was shown through not only the time, but also the place of where the protagonist is.

Featured Image here

The First Edition of the “Lü You” Magazine

Want some information on Chinese minorities? Then read this edition of the “Lü You” magazine. This magazine contains articles written by journalists that traveled around China to discover and understand more about the lifestyles of certain minorities. The minorities that the journalists decided to learn more about were the Qiang, Bai, Mongol, and Tibetan minorities. There are also certain special features such as the Author’s Page. Enjoy!

Please complete a survey after reading the magazine:

Presenting Day

April 12th, 2015

Today we presented our polymer projects! I was very nervous because I didn’t know if my project was actually going to be able to help people. When people watched the video, I guess there was laughter and I think they understood what my polymer does. My polymer didn’t get nominated for anything, so I’m still worried. I think I should have put more information on the video and elaborate more on how it is used by both children and adults.

Other than my idea, I was very surprised to see all of the ideas that the other groups came up with. I thought that Anthony and Justin’s movie was very professional because it included a lot of customers that thought the polymer was very helpful. Next time, I think I should do that. In my opinion, the best idea with the best real-world impact was the polymer that sticks on sharp corners by Mina and Deborah.

Looking over the project as a whole, I think that some things went well and other things I could improve on. I think the polymer creation went well, and the prototype was actually created successfully. However, I think my polymer could be improved so that it advertises the product better and also, I think the teamwork needed to improve.

Photo on 4-13-15 at 12.56 PM Photo on 4-13-15 at 12.56 PM #2

So, You Lost A Lid?

April 9th, 2015

cap it logo page

Success! Arden and I, from the help of numerous cites, found and edited a recipe to create the “cap it” prototype. If you think about it, our recipe was actually quite simple. We used cornstarch, baking soda, and cold water. A tutorial is posted on the bottom, so people can create their own “cap it”. Now, Arden and I are….a bit….greedy. We wanted our polymer to have many uses so it could be convenient in many ways, however, that failed. We wanted our polymer to not only cap things, but also be used as stove holders to block the heat, or a pencil grip. Something hard, but also smooth. Also, our goal was to create something different from the great invention “Sugru”, and that part was a success. After “Sugru” is placed on something, it would become a hard rubber, but ours would say smooth.

The sad part of our project is that it’s only a prototype. If the “Dream On” company gave us more time to continue our research, then I think Arden and I would be able to reach our goals of widening our uses. Although my project didn’t reach some goals, I am very proud and happy about presenting my prototype because it can still be used for the main use: capping objects.

(Picture was created)