Product Design: The Lightbox

In Product Design 3, we were tasked to create a small illuminated scenery inside a wooden box, or a ‘Lightbox.’ We were to create an environment of a place we missed and could not visit because of the pandemic, and for this, I chose the Irvine Spectrum Centre. It was a place we often stopped by when we went to Los Angeles to visit my aunt in the summer.

 

Throughout the process of creating this lightbox, I learned a myriad of new design techniques, such as the basic use of Adobe Illustrator, the shape that layers needed to be designed as so objects such as LED lights and other layers would fit, etc. My biggest obstacle, though, was perhaps organizing and designing the layers in Adobe Illustrator, as I had missed out on a few classes where Adobe Illustrator was used. At last, though, I found the shapes I wanted to use, I organized them out, I cut them out, and I ended up with what I wanted. My biggest success was perhaps assembling the painted layers together into one final product. I had thought that the process would take longer than one or two classes, but I ended up putting everything together in less than one class.

Overall, I think this entire project was a great success. In the start, I spent several classes without completing anything, as there were technical errors that understandably stemmed from online classes. However, as we came into real, physical school, I quickly solved those problems with the help of teachers and peers, and I eventually caught up to the others’ pace. In the end, my final product turned out to be almost exactly what I wanted, but there are some aspects that I would change, given the time or materials. First, I would have made my background/sky layer more of a gradient shift from purple to dark blue/black. Second, I would have increased the width of my palm trees’ trunks, as they’re extremely fragile. Lastly, I would have designed my third layer, or my storefront buildings differently, had I known I needed to individually cover each window and door with masking tape to prevent the lines from mushing together with the acrylic paint.

The Decade of Crimson in China

The Decade of Crimson in China

The Great Proletarian Chinese Cultural Revolution, or the Chinese Cultural Revolution, was a period of time between 1966 and 1976 where China underwent major political battles and cultural changes. Starting with the official launch by Mao and ending with his death, this video provides an overview of the entire event. However, the difference is in that unlike the average 2-hour black-and-white documentary that relentlessly throws information at you that you’ll never remember, this simple 5-minute video presents everything in a clean and simple manner and tells you everything you need to know.

Image source here

Google It: A Question of Theme

This book is called “Google It: A History of Google” by Anna Crowley Redding. I recommend this book because it perfectly captures the history of Google and its two co-founders. Additionally, it’s also a fun read that’s just genuinely enjoyable. One thing I learned in this nonfiction unit is how even when nonfiction texts may seem like pure information, through taking notes and analyzing the text, many main ideas, themes, and hidden clues can be found.

The Boxer Rebellion: Were they the “Righteous” Fists?

 

The Boxers deserved a bad reputation.

This is because one, the Boxers destroyed ways of communication and transportation. Two, the Boxers killed thousands of innocents. Three, the Boxers convinced the military to help them in massacring people.

By destroying ways of communication and transportation, the Boxers not only set back the foreigners, but also their own country, slowing/setting back progress on all countries involved and making the situation better for nobody. Next, obviously, mass genocide of innocents is definitely not a good thing to do, nor is getting the government involved to shoot other country officials. Innocents who are not involved in the actual war and did not threaten the Boxers should have no reason to be killed, and putting ideas like these on your government as well just makes your country look worse.

Hard work is essential to a bright future.

“The Little Girl Who Would Not Work”by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey CER-ER-ER

 

“Even when you are a tiny girl you can learn to be busy” (Bailey 2). The short story “The Little Girl Who Would Not Work” is by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey, an elementary school principal who often wrote and told stories for her students, this one being about a little girl who was told to do work by her mom but avoids it and goes into the forest to play instead. In the forest, the little girl asks various plants and animals to join her, but they all refuse and state that they have work to do. A big main theme is that everyone has work to do and it is often more important to do so than constantly engaging in meaningless playing.  

 In the story “The Little Girl Who Would Not Work” by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey, the author believes that hard work is often more important for developing future independence than meaningless playing. My claim is supported by several points in the text, including the following quote: ‘“Red Squirrel, you don’t have to work, do you? […]” “Not work! […] Why, I am working now, and I worked all day yesterday, and [all] the day before. […] I have no time to stop and play”’ (Bailey 5-6). This passage contrasts the protagonist, the little girl, with the first animal that she encounters, the Red Squirrel. While the protagonist wants to play and not work, to invite the Red Squirrel to play with her, even, the Red Squirrel is exactly the opposite, occupied with drudgery and without opportunities to be at leisure. It could be said that this short story is one with an “Again and Again” motif. The reason for this is that throughout the text, the author brings in one after another animal/plant to deeply and clearly establish the theme. The author produces four instances where the protagonist has a conversation with a resident of nature, but a notable one is the clover: ‘So the little girl sat down upon a stone […] and she said to herself: “The creatures all have their tasks to do, but I don’t believe the flowers work. Do you work, Pink Clover?” […] “Oh, yes, I am very busy,” said the Pink Clover. “I gather the sunbeams every morning and keep them shut in my petals quite carefully all day long. […] The flowers must all work”’ (Bailey 12-13). As mentioned before, this further establishes the claim. The author brings in the use of a plant, rather than an animal as used in the three previous encounters. The takeaway from this passage is that not only animals have to work, but rather all living organisms must work in order to survive and be in their best stateLastly, in every good story, the protagonist’s character develops as the story goes on. ‘There was once a little girl who loved to play all day out of doors among the flowers and the bees. Her mother thought she would grow to be an idle little girl if she played so much. “You are old enough to do some work, little daughter”’ (Bailey 1-2). ‘Then the little girl decided to go home to her mother, and she said: “Mother, the Squirrels and the Bees and the Ants and the Flowers all work. I am the only idle one. I want some work to do”’ (Bailey 14). These two excerpts are taken from consecutively the start and ending of the story. From this, we can see that clear character development has been made, as the protagonist progresses from continuously participating in objective-less idling against her mother’s liking to realizing that working is more beneficial long-term. Additionally, from the quote “You are old enough to do some work, little daughter”, we can infer that the author believes children should work rather than play around meaninglessly, reason being that hard work can shape future independence.  

 In conclusion, hard work is often more important for developing future independence than meaningless playing, with nothing as an exceptionWhether it be studying, doing chores, or anything, what will you do today for a brighter future? 

Thank You Ma’am Found Poem

 

This found poem was made from the short story “Thank You, Ma’am” by Langston Hughes. It’s a story about a little boy’s attempt to steal a woman’s purse. In my found poem, the conflict is between the woman and the boy, with the boy as the protagonist and the woman as the antagonist. It is external as..uh.. the woman eats the boy. My image is pretty fitting to the found poem and is colorful and bright, and for the text, I cut out words from the original document and glued them to the picture, while rotating the words a little bit to produce a kind of scrapbook feel.

Clicking on the hyperlinks (highlighted words) will take you to the original story or a page about the author.