Absolute True Diary Socratic Seminar 1

For our first Socratic Seminar, my group did terrible. Only 50% of the group talked, and we were off-task most of the time. However, we occasionally stayed on task, but our sentences were brief and lacked reasoning. For the next Socratic seminar, I think we could be more prepared, and we can elaborate on our ideas and show more reasoning. This time, I think we could have been more prepared for the seminar. When we participated in the big group discussion, we forgot most of our points and reasons. Before, I would contribute to most of the conversation, talking 6-8 times. However, I only talked 3 times this seminar. I think everyone could have talked more if we stayed on track or prepared better.

Posted in English | Tagged , | Comments Off on Absolute True Diary Socratic Seminar 1

Aaron Huey TED talk response

I learned how president Abraham Lincoln perceived the Native Americans as ‘non-humans’ as he ordered the hanging of 38 Sioux men two days after he signed the Emancipation Proclamation. I also learned how the government called the mistreatment of these indigenous ‘battles.’ The whites taking over the sacred Black Hills for gold is the equivalent of going to Jerusalem when someone discovers a precious metal.

I realize that Rowdy did not behave irrationally to Junior after Junior announces he would be transferring to Reardan. Instead, he acted like how other Native Americans would have behaved. “1851: The first treaty of Fort Laramie was made, clearly marking the boundaries of the Lakota Nation. According to the treaty, those lands are a sovereign nation… Ten years later. The Homestead Act, signed by President Lincoln, unleashed a flood of white settlers into Native lands. ” (Huey) The Homestead Act had violated the first Fort Laramie Treaty, as the treaty had clearly marked the boundaries for the Lakota nation. “1868: The second Fort Laramie Treaty [garuntees] the Lakotas’ ownership of the sacred Black Hills… 1874: General George Custer announced the discovery of gold in Lakota territory, specifically the Black Hills.” The Black Hills are sacred Native American territories, and General Custer caused irreparable damage to the hills by allowing white people to pillage the Black Hills

Junior always rants about how terrible his life as an American Indian is. In the novel, Junior talks about the difficulties of being an Indian on a reservation: “What kind of a job can a reservation Indian boy get?… reservation Indians don’t get to realize our dreams. We don’t get those chances. We’re just poor.” (Alexie 10-11) In this section, Junior uses these specific words to invoke pity from the reader. Junior, someone who ‘came from poor people… all the way back to the first poor people’ (11), is not as privileged as we are. Aaron Huey states in his talk that ‘Teacher turnover is eight times higher than the US national average.’ This means that children who are fortunate enough to get an education could get a horrible teacher. This TED talk allowed me to visualize the conditions Junior has to live in. “At least 60 percent of the homes on the reservation are infested with black mold. More than 90 percent of the population lives below the federal poverty line.” This would also explain why Junior’s family treasures Kentucky Fried Chicken so much, for them, it would be very fortunate to be able to eat something of the “original recipe” (8)

I think Sherman Alexie chose to write this for young adults because he wants to address a major issue to a wider range of audiences. He uses a more suitable tone in this novel to capture the attention of young adults, using various obscenities to allow the reader to relate to Junior, he also includes illustrations to help us visualize how Junior feels about himself and the people around him.

Posted in English | Tagged , | Comments Off on Aaron Huey TED talk response

‘Throwing a ball’ math project

Throughout this project, we learned how to incorporate real-life situations like “playing catch” to demonstrate our knowledge of mathematical concepts like quadratic and linear functions. We also used our statistics skillset to assess or accuracy of predictions. Our group also did great communicating outside of school as we finished very quickly, with high quality, and most importantly, amazing music. Some challenges we faced as a group could be; I had a broken hand, so we had to let Ms. Cheng film us. Also, when graphing on the LoggerPro application, we forgot to use the ruler function, so we had to do the graphs all over again. If we have a second chance to do this project, we would split the workload more equally so everyone has a chance to do everything.

Posted in Math | Tagged , , | Comments Off on ‘Throwing a ball’ math project

One Belt, One Road

This video explores the effects of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Vietnam, showing the two sides Vietnamese people stand on when this topic is discussed.

Posted in Humanities, Multimedia Post | Tagged , , | Comments Off on One Belt, One Road

Polymer Project Journal 5

I think that our final prototype was most successful, this was because plastic is most suitable for making a bag. This is because the plastic could easily be fused together and was very durable when cooled. We chose a softer plastic so the bag had a smaller chance of breaking. Before our work on precious plastics, all of our prototypes were slimes, soft, breakable and could not be fused easily. In addition, each slime was about the size of a small ball, meaning that it would take a lot of replicas of the same polymer to create a bag. Once the polymers were left out for a period of time, the polymers were easily broken and were even harder to fuse. Another factor that led us to choose precious plastics was sustainability. Excessive use of borax could cause skin irritation, and since we were designing a large bag, we would need a large amount of borax to create the polymer. Even though plastic is created by crude fossil fuels, a non-renewable energy source, our bag will be reusable and sustainable. We used discarded plastics, such as plastic bags, delivery packages, and bubble wrap. We used a heat press to fuse the plastics together in multiple short intervals. We also used the iron to fuse smaller pieces such as the bubble wrap.

Firstly, we made a table listing all the physical properties we wanted our polymer to have and tested each prototype to see if it met any of the categories. We chose firmness, flexibility and durability. Using these categories, we chose flexible plastics such as plastic bags and packaging. In the end, our bag could be attached to the bike handles using velcro and was similar to the Ikea bag: flexible, light and waterproof

Because we created a reusable plastic bag, the product will be able to reduce emissions and waste. Compared to a single-use plastic bag, a reusable cotton bag would need to be used 7100 times to have a lower impact than a plastic bag

Posted in Science | Comments Off on Polymer Project Journal 5

Polymer Project Journal 4

For each prototype, we used the materials for the base polymer Gloop. This is because Gloop is not as sticky as the stretch-tastic slime and the liquids did not separate like the Super Slime. We started with an overwhelming 10 grams of guar gum, the result was a flaky, dry polymer. The polymer was moldable, but it was difficult to stretch, so we noted to use 5 grams of guar gum; this time, we sprinkled the guar gum and kneaded it with the polymer. Our result was a texture much more even, the outside did not contrast as much as the inside of the polymer. However, these polymers were still slime, if we needed to create a bag for a bicycle, we needed to use plastic. Plastic is mouldable at high temperatures, durable when cooled, it lasts over time and is very lightweight. Gloop, on the other hand, came in small balls; could not last over time; and was easily breakable.

Posted in Science | Tagged | Comments Off on Polymer Project Journal 4

Keep Your Friends Close…

“Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.” Is a line said by Michael Corleone in The Godfather 2, this means that in order to defeat your enemies, you must truly know who they are. This was the case of Jack West Jr. in Seven Ancient Wonder by Matthew Reilly, Jack West’s main rivals for a struggle for worldwide power were a former ally, Cal Khallis, and his former mentor, Colonel Marshall Judah, both of whom he fought alongside during the Gulf War. Throughout the numerous encounter with his rivals, Jack West also learns the value of family. In his coalition of minor nations, their fate rests on a 10-year-old girl. This girl just happens to be the daughter of the Oracle of Siwa, who was capable of reading ancient languages. Leading up to the events, family had brought the group closer together.

“‘Daddy . . . no!’ Lily yelled. And suddenly, amid all the mayhem, all the pouring sand and the turning of the cage, time stood still for West.” (Reilley, 507) For a brief moment, this touching moment allowed West to flashback to when he saved Lily from dying. This gave him the motivation to clear his mind and calm himself down before proceeding. “I… Am … Not… Going… To… Die… I am not going to let her down. Clarity returned… And it hit him: Brave men don’t panic. They remain calm in the face of danger.” (507) Prior to this, the Israeli Sayeret Matkal had sent troops over to capture a piece of the capstone at the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The Israelis and the coalition encountered a quicksand trap, and they sent West and another man down. The other man immediately panicked, and rushed into a random cage, sealing his fate. On the other hand, with the help of Lily, Jack West managed to figure out the solution. “According to the map, the correct exit door was the one directly opposite her door. Lily, West realized, was his advantage. Most tomb robbers would not leave someone behind in the entry doorway.” (508) Lily’s words had saved his life, if he panicked, he could mistakenly choose the wrong gate, leading to his demise.

“A small price to pay for salvation.” was a line Thanos had once said, meaning sacrificing one small thing for the greater good of more things yet to come. 10 years before the wide-scale search of the Giza capstone, the wife of the Oracle of Siwa gave birth to a boy, who was immediately taken and raised by the European team. As the Europeans triggered a lava flow into the shrine, with the intent of burning the body of the wife. However, unbeknownst to the Europeans, the mother had also given birth to a daughter, this was Lily. With time running out, West had to make a fateful decision, to sacrifice his arm to save both himself, his mentor and Lily, or to keep his arm but die with the baby and his mentor.“Can you build me a new arm, Max?…”“Jack. If you get us out of here, I promise you I’ll build you a better arm than the one you were born with.” (128) Knowing that he would lose his arm, he requested his mentor, Wizard, to build an arm to replace his old arm.  This shows the great lengths Jack West would go to save Lily and the people he cared about. Some might say he only cared about Lily because of his greed for Australia’s world domination. However, West sees Lily’s enthusiasm for ballet and takes her for a surprise. “Hey, kiddo. Want to go out for a surprise?’…The surprise was a private plane trip to Cape Town and a visit to a performance of The Nutcracker Suite by the South African Royal Ballet.” (188), this showed how West, above all the preparation and stress, cared about nurturing Lily and allowing her to follow her passion.

At first, the representatives of each country barely knew each other. However, the raising of Lily had brought them closer together. “It was not uncommon to see seven crack commandos frantically upturning chairs, couches or hay bales trying to find a giggling little girl who could disappear seemingly almost at will.” Because of the team raising Lily up like one big family, Lily grew very fond of all of them “But the soldier she bonded with most was Zoe’s brother, Liam, call-sign Gunman… With Lily, though, he just clicked—… They watched movies and read books together. They played the video game Splinter Cell endlessly in dual-player mode… And so, gradually, the team became a family—a family centred around the protection and nurturing of one little girl.” (174-176)

However, all good things come to an end. As soon as the mission started, the team was hit by hardships and losses. For Lily, the most tragic blow was the death of Gunman, whom she had bonded so close to for 10 years. “Lily… You know something. You’ve been the best friend I’ve ever had in my life. You were always way smarter than me, but you always waited for me, were always patient with me. But now I have to do something for you—and you have to let me do it. Just promise me, when the time comes, you do what you were put on this Earth to do. And remember me, the dumb grunt who was your friend. I love you, little one.” (433)…“The bullet passed right through Big Ears’s skull, exploding out the other side and he fell instantly—crumpling like a marionette whose strings have been cut.” Despite the travesty of losing her closest friend, she also aids Wizard in coping the loss of his own wife, Doris. “I’m sorry about Doris, Wizard,’ she said with a seriousness that belied her age. She died saving us,’ Lily said. ‘Telling us to get away. She gave her life so that we could escape.” (640) This shows how much family is valued in this novel, as the team watches Lily grow up, and maturing as a young girl.


Posted in Humanities, Written Post | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Keep Your Friends Close…

Pingyao Review

  • I learned Psych! is a very fun game when you are face-to-face, I also learned that you cannot feel a lot of the inertia created by the train,
  • I learned that new businesses opening in Pingyao must operate in the original buildings in order to preserve the old buildings. I also learned that the severity of punishments depended on how much money one had. If one was rich, he could bribe his way out of court.
  • Our group went around Pingyao trying to meet the requirements of the challenge. We could venture into different shops to see what products were on sale, we also sampled many kinds of street food.
  • The funniest moment on the trip was when I was on a cat bike. When I was trying to get to a shop, my friend wanted to get me there in one of the cat bikes he had borrowed. Unfortunately, the bike was extremely slow and was hard to control.
  • The biggest challenge I faced was locating where we were. The place we gathered at was East Street, even though the park was called ‘Central Park’. The challenge locations also had the number on each street so it was harder for us to navigate.
  • The most memorable experience I had in Pingyao was when our challenge group had hailed a cart to drive us to the ancient government building, but the driver took us in a huge trip around the city because of the pedestrian streets.
Posted in General | Tagged , | Comments Off on Pingyao Review

Polymer Project Journal 3

For our polymer that will personalize one’s bicycle, we want our polymer to be able to harden over time but stay a little sticky. This is because we want the polymer to stick onto the bicycle once it has hardened. We also want the polymer to be stretchy in order to mold the polymer to any part of a bike.

For our polymer, we decided to use the base polymer Gloop. Gloop is much drier and more solid compared to the other two base polymers, the stretch-tastic slime was too stringy and the super slime had water separated from the actual polymer if left over time.

In order to see if the polymer was able to harden, we left our polymer out on a plate to see the interaction between the materials and the air.

Posted in Science | Tagged | Comments Off on Polymer Project Journal 3

Polymer Project Journal 2

My group’s goal for making the polymer was to make a design foam that could personalize one’s bicycle. For our first prototype, we used the gloop as our base polymer; however, we decided to add guar gum so that the polymer was not as stretchy or slimy as the other polymers. Guar gum is a thickener that traps liquids in a mesh-like structure, giving it a solid structure, but my group used too much guar gum because we did not know how much would get it right. The result was a crumbly, dry polymer that wasn’t at all stretchable but could be easily molded. I think we would need a polymer that is moldable but can stay in shape, it has to harden after a short period of time, and it can’t be too sticky.



Posted in Science | Tagged | 1 Comment