Journal 2


Our goal is to make a polymer that could fix broken plastic and containers. We want it to prevent leakage.

Our target audience would be people that are poor or lazy. If they break an object, instead of going to the store buying a new one, they can buy our product to fix the original object.

Nothing would be permanently broken as long as the customers correctly use our product. You would never see leaking bottles or broken lunch boxes. Gotta Problem, Fix it. (small containers would not break. “nothing” is just an exaggeration for customers)

We want a polymer that could stick on easily. If our polymer does not stick, we cannot attach it to a broken object, Our polymer should be malleable because that would make our product effective in all situations. (The amount and shape would vary depending on the object broken) Our polymer would harden fast. We cannot have a product that takes 1 week to harden. It should harden within one day because if it takes too long to consolidate, people could just go and buy something new.

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Polymer Journal 1

  1. Polymers are very large molecules formed during a chemical reaction. Polymers could be considered as monomers bonded together.
  2. During this class, we experimented slime. We did different experiments with the slime including observations, slow, fast poke, slow, fast pull, and the bounce, hang test.

3. Plastic, made by humans to make a variety of products

Manmade rubber, used in circuits and electric supplies; chargers.

4. Petrochemicals make up synthetic polymers. Petrochemicals are made by petroleum, where petroleum is made from the ruins of animals and plants. Time changes the chemical make up of the remains to petroleum and the resources are not renewable.

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Greed Over Obligation

Money Over Obligation


Money, a word so important in the hearts of people. It would take money to consume, it would take money to live, and it would take money to do everything. But is that the truth. Money flicks and intrigues ambition to take control over consciousness. In this society right now, money lives as the center of life, people work for it, spend it, love it. Andy Mulligan’s Trash reflexes these social problems in a third world country that resembles the Philippines. The theme of that book is greed, specifically having a senator that has his ambition of earning money over his sense of obligation.


The Character I choose would be Raphael Fernandez. He is a trash boy with a pure heart. He struggles when working alone and is not a mature boy. He acts as the younger brother of Gardo. “Gardo’s my partner, and we always work together. He looks after me.” (7, Mulligan) In the story, Raphael got caught by the police. He was weak and hopeless and cried when the police threatened him. “I lost control and simply…all down my legs, I lost control- I was so frightened and I was stinking and I was shouting.”(68) “I didn’t find a bad sir”(68) This shows how immature and weak he as a character is.


When the police came to retrieve that left bag/wallet they wanted to use money to make people work. This “idea” started right at the start having people work for money. Thinking about the setting, people living in the Behala’s rarely even gets money. They acted like zombies and began searching for what the police wanted. “Six hundred left for me.” (Mulligan, 10) This is the section where the two protagonists discussed the money in the wallet. It is obvious that “money” controls all of Raphael and Gardo’s actions. Conflicts in this book show the theme. One example will be the part where the police nearly threw Raphael out of the window. “And we will if we want to break every bone in your body” (Mulligan,71) The executioner forced Raphael to tell him where the wallet is. He used his powers to threaten the lives of the ones without power. “I left the money where it was, took up the book, and I moved fast.”(166) This is the section where Raphael, Gardo, and Rat traded with the police Marco. The greed of Marco told him to betray the boys. He wanted both the money from the boys and the prize catching the boys. The theme of money reached its climax when the boys discovered what the senator did. “Senator Zapanta stopped a nation in its tracks. He stopped our country making progress… For the millions he took, how many millions did he prevent even being offered?” (224) “senator Zapanta keeps millions of dollars of cash in his home suggests that he is a part of a corrupt other world.” (189) This shows how the Senator kept the perspiration and hard work(tax) of people in his hands and used it for recreation.


The setting and theme of this story in some ways resemble the Philippines and some other countries that have an unstable/unreliable government. I can imagine the situation of having a “thief” as your leader. Just a few months ago, the Chinese government discovered that a lot of party members used their power to illegally confiscate the wealth and properties of the citizens. This event is similar to the ones listed in the book because both the governments include some corrupted people and they are both risking their fame for illegal profit. It will be hard for countries to develop when having those parasites consuming what was meant to be the fuel of development. Also, there was a new a few years ago about a corrupt Philippine president who “destroyed” the economy of the country by earning money against the countries laws and fortunately he got caught. I believe that the author of Trash purposely used senator Zapanta to resemble that sinful president and effects of his corruption/greed.

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The Rise of a New Age


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Fear, the Terrible Manipulator

The historical fiction “The Bad Queen” written by Carolyn Meyer talked about the last queen of France, Marie Antoinette in another perspective. It allowed viewing all of the characters during the French Revolution clearly and dramatically changed how I viewed the queen. The book mainly talks about things before the Revolution. It talks about Marie learning France as a Kingdom. Learning its history, culture, and language.

The theme of The Bad Queen is “fear can be a terrible manipulator.” The main character, Marie Antoinette had her soul controlled by her feelings. It is very true for the human brain to be distorted by power. In the story, she was the princess of Austria, since the kingdom had 15 other children waiting in for the throne, she, as one of the youngest ones got ignored. Her life changed when Austria and France decided to have a marriage. She got respect from everyone, her mother, siblings. It also shows her feelings, loneliness, feeling like a tool, sacrificing her love for her family. It teaches us a lesson, both historical and life. When she first entered France, she was a pure girl, 16 years old. She was frightened when she saw how the French court functioned, “To be truthful, I was frightened. I wished, certainly not for the first time, that I had received some practical instruction of France.” (Meyer, 84) She said that when she saw how the French people dressed for ceremonial events and how they treated newcomers. After seeing how the French people respond to events, she locked herself in her room crying for a short period of time, it is different from her home. When they got married, young Prince Louis did not sleep in the same bed with Marie. Marie worried again, she ended up sobbing in her room when she realized that Louis went hunting instead of being with her. Fortunately, love was established when Marie made some concessions, she learned how to ride and followed Louis in hunting. They began to sleep together, “our bodies became one at last.” (214) Fear slowed down the development of love between Marie and Louis. If both of them were bolder, they would’ve gotten children earlier and Marie could have used more time to establish a good reputation in France.


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A Step to Prosperity

France, Kingdom of Romance, along with its rich history, crumbled into pieces when its people chose to rebel. At the end of the revolution, France ended up being controlled by the committee of public safety.  However, the Committee of Public Safety that advocated the revolution ended up on the guillotine. Is this a revolution or is it just simply killing 17,000 innocent people that wanted peace? The Illiterates did not get their dreamed life of having enough food and resources. On the other hand, the French Revolution brought success to some peasants, some never able to see the light of day. Those ones starving had a chance to stand up and those who ruled terribly were forced downstage. The French Revolution acted more as a spiritual affinity between the ones without rights instead of a violent outburst of people. Now, is the French Revolution a step to France’s splendid future, or is it just simply the end result of the negligence of people.



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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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