"You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf," -John Kabat-Zinn

Argumentative Essay Reflection

  1. What you did well in your essay.

Something I did well in this argumentative essay was being able to conduct research for evidence, I was able to identify trustworthy and useful evidences for my essay. These evidences helped my claims sound more persuasive therefore having a stronger argument.

  1. What you might like to improve.

Something that I would like to improve on in the future is to better relate the topic I am arguing about to real life so that it is more effective. I think I can achieve this by giving more real life examples in my essay so it sounds relatable and would have a larger effect on my readers.

  1. Are there any areas where you marked yourself differently than Ms. Rivera? What are you thoughts?

I was surprised of my score for the using fitting words and phrases because that was a part where I did not feel as confident about. I felt like I was using too many connectives and informal language throughout my essay, in the future I would like to continue in improving my way of expressing opinions with the fitting tone for my audiences.

4. What was the biggest challenge that you faced while researching, planning and writing this essay? How did you overcome this challenge?

I challenged that I faced while writing this argumentative essay was writing the counterclaims because I spent a lot of time researching claims for my side of the argument and didn’t think of anything for the counter side. However, I was able to overcome this problem by reading more articles and doing more research on both my side and the opposite side of this argument and eventually finding a counterclaim that I can rebut in my essay for a strong counterclaim.

Smell Detector Reflection

For the second project of Product Design, we were told to create the prototype of a machine that can detect smell. For my machine, I decided to make it a handheld size for easier transportation. There are two digital screens, one displaying a GPS on the origin of the smell that is detected, and the second one displaying information that describes the small and searches the web for food that matches with what is detected. The detector on the side is made of foam and is inspired by the smoke detector in real life. It will pick up smell around this machine and analyze it in the box. Lastly, there are two buttons on the top to turn on and off the machine and display screen.

Potala Palace Light Box Reflection

During the first Product Design, we were introduced to the Light Box project. For this project, we were to digitally design and create layers representing a unique place that was special to us. For me, I chose the Potala Palace, this summer my family visited the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. It was really an extraordinary sight and still is carved into my heart, so, I decided to recreate it in this Light Box project to remind me of the striking palace.

During this project I learned a lot, not just on skills about designing, but also about myself. While creating my light box, I realized my strength in planning and my ability to research. Planning has been a skill that we worked on for the whole span of the project, once we finished one step, we start planning for the next one. My ability to plan really helped me and I am very glad I could use that in the project. There were also a lot of times where I would come across a problem, especially in Adobe Illustrator. We used Adobe Illustrator played a crucial part in designing, and creating the digital version of our project, and I ran into a lot of problems while using it. However, I challenged myself to do independent research to try and solve my problem. So, I can now confidently say that I have learned and improved in my ability to research. 🙂


A skill that I learned during the creation of this project, is digital designing. As I said previously, using digital designing applications played a crucial part in this project, especially Adobe Illustrator. At the start, I was really uncomfortable with using this application and struggled to keep up with a lot of the expectations, but after some time with it, independent research, and by receiving help from the teacher, I got more and more familiar with Adobe Illustrator and was able to add and improve to my project with ease. I am sure that this will not only help me in Product Design but will also be a skill that will be very beneficial for me in the future.


Even though I am happy with the final result of my project, there are still a couple of things I would like to change. Firstly, I would like to add one more layer to the mountains, so that it looks more diverse and layered. Secondly, I would place my LED lights around or stick it behind my Light Box cover so that it is more visible when the light is turned on. However, no matter the things I would still like to change about my Light Box, I am still really happy with my final product.


An advice I would like to give future students while making this project is to always plan forward. It would never hurt to give a little bit more effort and time in the planning period and to think of things that might not even be needed at the moment. For example, what colors are you going to paint the layers of your light box, or, where are the LED lights going to be placed? There’s no need to spend hours and hours drawing out a whole sketch of your final product, however, just thinking about what you want it to look like, or where the lights are going to be can save you great time later on in the project making process, and to prevent mistakes like not having enough space for lights when all the layers are cut out.


Overall, I think this Light Box is definitely a success, because I really enjoyed the making process of this project, I was able to realize a mistake and efficiently fix it and I was able to finish the project in the time limit. I am excited to continue to learn, improve and create even better projects in the future of Product Design.

Percy Jackson Informational Blog

In the book Percy Jackson and The Olympian; The Lightning Thief, the main character, Percy Jackson has a difficult time controlling his temper and to think when and before he makes decisions. The decisions that Percy Jackson made does not only affects himself in the situation but also affects the surrounding and the people around him.

At the beginning of the book, on page 3 of chapter one, a simple dialogue between Percy Jackson and his best friend Grover hinted at Percy’s style when making decisions.

“I’m going to kill her,” I mumbled.

Grover tried to calm me down. “It’s okay, I like peanut butter.” He dodged another piece of Nancy’s lunch.

“That’s it.” I started to get up, but Grover pulled me back to my seat.

“You’re already on probation,” he reminded me. “You know who’ll get blamed if anything happens.”

In this dialogue between Percy and Grover, Percy’s actions did not add any benefits or calm down the situation. Percy is mad, aggravated, and he is showing that with his dialogues. Even though it was standing up and defending his friend, it still is not the smartest thing to do if he had thought about the consequences.

In chapter 3, page 39, we see Percy’s weaknesses again in this conversation between Percy Jackson and his mother.

She pulled a marshmallow from the fire.

“I don’t know, honey.” Her voice was heavy. “I think… I think we’ll have to do something.”

“Because you don’t want me around?” I regretted the words as soon as they were out.

My mom’s eyes well with tears. She took my hand, squeezed it tight…

Here we can detect that Percy did not put any thought into what he is saying even Percy realizes how the things he said is hurtful to his mother after, but Percy needs to learn to think before he makes a decision. Percy Jackson taking action without thinking about it logically before can lead to him making decisions that can hurt the people around him even when he did not intend to.

From these two examples, we see how Percy does not put lots of logical thinking before he takes action, has a hard time controlling his temper, and would act accordingly, even if they are not the best decision in that situation. These kinds of decision making will lead to consequences and might even be hurtful to the people around Percy. ­­Percy needs to learn to control his emotions and think before he acts.

While reading the article Recognizing and Managing Emotions, published by Skills you Need, I realized that a lot of the tips this article is recommending would be helpful to Percy Jackson when making decisions. In the section “Positive Actions to Help you Manage Emotions,” the article stated that being open to the things going on around you, can help manage emotions.

Be open and accept what is going on around you. Learn to appreciate what is happening and avoid excessive criticism of others or of situations. This is linked to mindfulness, which is about being aware of what is going on in the moment.”

This tip would help Percy Jackson because being open and looking at the whole picture of Percy Jackson’s surroundings would help him think and recognize his mistakes in his decisions before he takes action. Another piece of advice that the article has proposed is balancing your decisions between emotions and logic.

If you only use one or the other, your decisions may either not be very balanced, or not support your emotional needs.”

Like we have noticed in previous incidences, Percy Jackson seems to lean more on the emotional side when making decisions Percy Jackson isn’t thinking about the consequences, and how his actions and affect his atmosphere, so learning how to balance between thinking logically and emotionally would help Percy Jackson make the right decision.

The article Recognizing and Managing Emotions proposed lots of tips that would benefit Percy Jackson in his decision-making skills, which I think would affect himself later on in the book.

It is hard to always make the right decisions, to not hurt anyone around you, and to avoid consequences when something you make a wrong choice, not just for Percy Jackson, also for myself. Sometimes it gets difficult to stay balanced and not let your emotions get overwhelming but to stay calm, to think logically before you make a judgment or take action would certainly benefit anyone, which of course includes Percy Jackson.

Analysis of Percy Jackson’s Character Traits – CER

Percy Jackson Character Traits – T-chart

Percy Jackson Character Traits – CER


In the book Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief, I noticed that the main character, Percy Jackson has a stubborn and emotionally driven character trait. For example, in page 49, this series of dialogue between Percy and his mother really catches my attention.


“Mom, you’re coming too.”

Her face was pale, her eyes as sad as when she looked at the ocean.

            “No!” I shouted. “You’re coming with me. Help me carry Grover.”

… (Description of setting)

            “He doesn’t want us,” my mother told me. “He wants you, besides, I can’t cross the property line.”


            “We don’t have time, Percy. Go. Please.”

I got mad, then—mad at my mother, at Grover the goat, at the thing with horns that was lumbering toward us slowly and deliberately like, like a bull.

I climbed across Grover and pushed the door open into the rain. “We’re going together. Come on, mom.”


This dialogue shows how stubborn and emotionally driven Percy is; Percy’s mother is constantly asking, even begging him to go without her but Percy will not listen.  Also, because of Percy’s feelings, he really is not thinking logically when he makes decisions and only reacting to the storm of emotions he is feeling in this situation.


Percy having this stubborn and emotionally driven character trait will deeply affect Percy’s actions and decisions later in this book.

A Plant’s Concerto

My Graphic Novel:

Graphic Novel

Short Summary:

In the book “A Plant’s Concerto” by Flora Zhu, it explains the topic of how music plays an effect on plants through a simple yet fun storyline. The main character, Rosie, goes through a weird dream where all the plants become alive and starts talking about music! What will Rosie learn while listening, read to find out!

Final Forest Habitat Project



6th grade science has kind of been a turning point for me, before, science has been somewhat confusing to me, but after this year I found science being really interesting with all the experiments and topics we have done. After some practice, I think I did improve in making models and analyzing data, with the different type of models and how to record datas. Next year, I want to continue learning about physics, because I found it to be really interesting and I want to learn more about it. 🙂

The Anne-Family

The Anne-Family

For our reading project, my partner, Jia, and I decided to read the books Number The Stars by Luis Lowry and The Diary of A Young Girl by Anne Frank. We chose these two books because they are all set in World War II, but the personalities of the two protagonists and the situation of their families are very different, so we wanted to compare them. I really liked both of these books because they described World War II from different perspectives, Number The Stars tells us how they helped their best friend’s family (The Rosens), who is Jewish, to get to safety. And The Diary of A Young Girl describes how A Jewish family hides from the Nazi occupation and her experiences in hiding. For our project, I mainly focused on Number The Stars and Jia mainly focused on The Diary of A Young Girl. We took ideas from our last unit, Our Stories Make History, and kind of did that for our protagonist. We made collages, timelines, and even 6-word memoirs. However, instead of writing diary entries, we wrote our thinking and some beyond the book research work. We tried to level-up our project by doing some background research on World War II so we can understand the settings of the books better. We also, created a small focus question for our own books. For example, my question was, what would have happened to the Rosens if they were caught trying to escape. Doing this research made me understand the book better. Overall, my partner and I both really enjoyed reading the two books and doing some work with it.

Our Stories Make History


During the project, ​Our Stories Make History.​ I recorded my personal experience and thoughts as primary sources. During this unit, I also learned to find and examine a source to see the reliability of it. My ​Our Stories Make History project will take you with me as I recap on my experiences during SARS-coV-19. My journals are organized in a chronological order, with my projects and thoughts in between them, so that the audiences can learn about the SARS-coV-19, but at the same time, they can learn about my personal experiences during this pandemic. The ​Our Stories Make History project, was created so that historians can learn and get information about this period of time in the future. My project includes information about school-closure, shortages, anxiety caused by the virus and Online education. Of course, my project only covers my own experiences, so historians need to read other primary sources to get an exact recap of this pandemic. Historians will get to know how I personally thought and felt during this virus-outbreak.
I think the best piece of this unit is definitely my journals and finding reliable sources. I have never really written journals before, so writing a journal every day was definitely difficult at first. I couldn’t seem to find the right words and record my emotions. However, after some practice it actually became a habit which would make me feel more organized and relieved every day. Finding reliable sources was also a piece of this unit which I think is very useful and important, but it was also really challenging. Before I would just find a popular or a source I have used before. So, now I can find a reliable source so I won’t get biased information and articles.

Our Stories Make History { Nature Around Me }

Nature Around Me
Flora Zhu

This isn’t a project I just started because of this final project. I started learning and writing about the plant life around me, or in my garden about 6 weeks ago. I would add a new plant life that we have in our garden; draw it; learn; then write a description of it. When I knew about this project, I thought it would be a good idea to share what I have been doing. So I scanned my drawings, my descriptions, and made it into a small Ebook. My final project is linked down below. 🙂

Nature Around Me

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