"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

Argumentative Essay on Government Control Over Obesity—a Reflection

What you did well in your essay

My evidence was well matched with my reasoning and sub-claims, and the pieces of evidence in each paragraph and under each claim are placed in a smooth flow. I was able to link pieces together without making the logic jumpy.

What you might like to improve

  1. There are definitely times when I use excessive phraseology. For example, “Therefore, having central power—the government—attempt to control such a complex matter would not only cause bias towards the obese population, but also those who are most likely to fall into the obese population”; that could be shortened down to, “Therefore, government control over obesity causes bias towards obese people and related communities”.
  2. In places like “this also did no good to the economy, since the action worked only to the advantage of one group”, it was not clear what the advantage and the one group were, so the link between economic harm and partial growth of companies was not clear.

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

On the concluding statement of a paragraph/argument, I mistook the concluding statement for the conclusion. If I were to reflect on my concluding statements, I would say that there was a lack of insight inside the heart of the argument. In short, some impacts were missing and the importance f my claims should be explained more clearly.

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

A challenge I faced was revealing sentiment under the pressures of a formal tone, clear logic, and not being dramatic. I found that the best way was to use an external factor—in this case what the rest of world thought—to deliver a wider, and slightly more emotional view. For example, stigma and bias were mentioned to relate a happening to what the world thought about it, instead of what I alone thought about it.

Smell Detector CIA_14

In the second unit of product design, we were presented a challenge to create a device that would recognize smell. This device would help people who are searching for the origin of a smell.

I created a two-piece device: Glasses to display smell density and a phone-like machine to detect and document smell.

The handheld device has vents on its back that allow the input of air; the air enables the machine to process smell and identify smell density of the environment around the user. The cord (represented by white string) delivers the display to the glasses, where smell density is shown in the same way as heat detectors show heat—through different shades.

Furthermore, the handheld device has another function: one can document a smell on it (associating it with a location) and search a smell on it, if it was already documented. This is shown on the screen of the model device.




Pacific Park Lightbox Reflection

For our first unit in product design, we were set on the task of creating a lightbox; inside the lightbox, we were to put representations of places we missed or places holding significant meaning for us. I selected Pacific Park in Santa Monica, where mom had taken me on one of those business trips her company sends employees on. There we touched the sky on the ferris wheel, grazed the sea on the roller coaster, and felt the ground on the dock. However, mom’s company had refrained from starting these journeys due to the coronavirus outbreak, and Pacific Park had since become a place I could but miss. Throughout this adventure, there had been highs and lows, some of which I will now reflect on.

The most important thing that I succeeded on was definitely the overall structuring of the lightbox, specifically the inside. To start with, I had located the ferris wheel on the side, in a position where a quarter of the circle was hidden; I had wished to do this because I thought it would be appropriate for the main object to not be square in the center. As I continued altering the format in Illustrator, though, I started thinking that such a small object—the lightbox—needs direct showcasing to make the main object pop. Furthermore, the ferris wheel was constructed with very thin lines, meaning putting it on the side would not help its visibility. To further pronounce a connection throughout all the layers, I changed the placement of the dock to the middle as well, to balance out the levels and create a link through the space in the box. With these decisions, I have achieved a prominent pop-out of the dock, which layers onto the rollercoaster on the side that goes on top of the ferris wheel in the center; this is then followed with a very subtle background of the cityscape, creating a balanced panorama.

On the other side, I would change some mistakes on the detail front. First, one thing that occurs most to me is the mobility of the LED wire. I had twisted my piece into the shape of a rotated square bracket ( [ ) so that it shines both down and around. I placed the lights on the “roof” of the inside of the box, with its twisted angles poking into the corners in order for it to not move. Despite this, it stills hangs somewhat crookedly, none of the sides straight and a lot of tilting. This definitely has an effect on the appearance of the lightbox once the light is lit, and is something I would want to change. Second—this might be a small flaw but it really digs a hole in perfection, I placed the dock layer too hastily, and it is slightly slanted. This leads to the bigger problem of my cover, when placed in the box, tilting as well, which make the box errant. Lastly, I would want to slightly fix my paint job so that the dock, roller coaster and ferris wheel are more visible and differs from the buildings and the sky. I would add details on them, for example putting lines around on the inside of the ferris wheel.

Next, what I have learned. I don’t think all the details would fit into one reasonably long paragraph, but here are a few of the most important takeaway:

  1. To keep a plan up to date with necessary changes;
  2. To expand, merge, size, change colors, round corners etc. in Adobe Illustrator;
  3. To search with concise language in Google Chrome;
  4. To alter structure according to aesthetical view;
  5. To double-double-double-double check work;
  6. To make a small product full of contrast;
  7. To work with LED lights;
  8. To miss the places I have taken for granted.

An essential reason why this project is so relevant and valuable is its connection to the global crisis we are in right now; an object like the lightbox we made really does a lot to bring the world to us when it has been pushed so far away and out of reach—the piece is almost “spiritual”.

All in all, this has been an anomalous travel, and it has been the first to take me into, not just to, somewhere; it wasn’t until I finished painting and stepped back that I realized: Oh wow, I miss this place. During this time when everywhere is an island, I am glad to have went on such a journey.

Percy Jackson Informational Blog

Percy Jackson has been known to be an owner of persistence—when he stood up for his best friend Grover against Nancy Bobofit, for example, but the most fundamental questions remain: Is this a permanent trait? Or is it a result of the frustration Percy experienced whilst discovering a new world, as it seems, until page 45? Is it a mist that blinds the mind, or is it merely a veil concealing an actual clarity of the mind? Is it persistence at all, or is it stubbornness, an over-emotional symptom and an unwillingness to leave way to legitimacy? This is a summary and analysis of two choices Percy Jackson commits to, through which we can provide answers to these questions.


The first incident happened on page 19, and it evolved around a secret conversation of Grover and Mr. Brunner:


            “…alone this summer,” Grover was saying. “I mean, a Kindly One in the school! Now that we know for sure, and they know too—”

            “We would only make matters worse by rushing him,” Mr. Brunner said. “We need the boy to mature more.”

            “But he may not have time. The summer solstice dead-line—”

            “Will have to be resolved without him, Grover. Let him enjoy his ignorance while he still can.”

            “Sir, he saw her…”

            “His imagination,” Mr. Brunner insisted. “The Mist over the students and staff will be enough to convince him of that.”

            “Sir, I…I can’t fail in my duties again.” Grover’s voice was choked with emotion. “You know what that would mean.”



The reason why this event was chosen is because it is a turning point; this is when Percy starts to know for sure something is being hidden from him; therefore, the decision he makes here impacts his stand on future crossroads: for example, when his mom told him “I thought you’d finally be safe [at Yancy academy]” on page 39, he held a deeper understanding, or perhaps more of a deeper doubt; “I knew I should tell my mom about the old ladies at the fruit stand…” He would most possibly keep on referencing this eavesdropped back-and-forth when he meets other strange happenings, either clearly in front of him or just at the back of his head.


Moving on, Percy’s reaction to this event was asking Grover sarcastically on the bus, when he was looking around tensely, “Looking for Kindly Ones?”. “Grover’s eye twitched”, and he “winced” out a lie; furthermore, Percy declared Grover a “bad liar” and made his friend more uncomfortable and guiltier than before.


By doing this, He acerbically “forces” Grover to respond, even after recognizing his lying and seeing his discomfort. Additionally, the underlined paragraph in the previous quote showed Grover’s fear and helplessness; it was detectable that Grover has a job at risk. However, the feeling of the disregard Percy directed at that last bit of the conversation is obvious, possibly because he was already drowned by the assertion that his best friend and favorite teacher were talking behind his back; this goes to prove Percy’s disability to process non-instant information.


Through the choice to itself, Percy has put himself in danger through his disdain—he will now be inclined to figure-out, but no one is in support of that; likewise, he has made Grover’s life harder—Grover is now struggling to keep a friend who has put himself in a thrashing, active, and dangerous position, and he risks failing his task. Furthermore, we do not see Percy considering beforehand what he was going to say to Grover; all there was, was an acknowledgment to people talking behind his back.


Even though decisions are made with a fair mixture of logic and emotion, as stated in the article Recognizing and Managing Emotions by Skills You Need, it is not legitimate for Percy to ignore the reason why Grover is making his decision to hide the truth; also, my experience from daily life is that friendship is fragile when trust gets border-lined, especially since there was nothing mean and hurtful in the secret conversation, only care and worry. When misunderstanding is not smoothed out and no one understands the other person, none will benefit. Of course, it is right that Percy should be annoyed; talking behind someone’s back is never a right thing to do, and not knowing something that sounds like it could cost himself his life will never be fun. Alas, it is wrong for Percy to throw his annoyance onto his best friend, who is pressured and anxious. If I were to provide a suggestion, it would be for Percy to not “give in to negative thinking” by “looking for evidence against them”, as suggested in the previously cited article. This would allow Percy to level the amount of logic and emotion rolled into one choice.


Advancing, this is an outline of the second choice Percy committed to:


  • Percy’s mom, Sally, recalled his father and described him as handsome and gentle; she compared Percy to his father, saying they have reflecting features.
  • Percy asks about his education; Sally tells him they’ll “have to do something”
  • Percy comments that Sally doesn’t want him around, and that he’s not normal.
  • Percy remembers dangers he has before faced at various schools.
  • His mom talks about a summer camp, leading Percy into deeper confusion.
  • Sally ends the conversation, melancholy.


During this continuum, we see the somberness of Percy’s mother—“But I can’t talk about it. I—I couldn’t send you to that place. It might mean saying good-bye to you for good”—and also the guilt—My mom’s eyes welled with tears. She took my hand, squeezed it tight. “Oh, Percy, no. I—I have to, honey…I have to send you way”. Because all is told from the perspective of Percy, he detects these emotions as well. Percy cares for his mom, as deduced from his opinion of Gabe not being a cent worth for her; even so, even when he knows how much his mother misses his dad and how much she wants Percy to stay with her, he continues to press his mom on the summer camp and why he is “special”. It is visible that these questions drag Sally more and more into sadness.


We also observe that one of Percy’s first reactions was an instinct to be “angry at [his] father”—this decision is one of many emotion-driven choices Percy has made, and it is not a cool-minded one. An example of the rare logical reactions he own is when he “regretted the” sharp words he said to his mom: “because you don’t want me around?”  But this came too late to convince readers of Percy’s ability to stay calm.


Because Percy has no idea who his father is, why his father left and never came back, why his mom married Gabe, how he himself is abnormal and “special”, why he had faced quite an abundance of dangers in various schools, how a summer camp is special, etc.—because of this, he grows more and more frustrated when his mom talks about sending him away and how he’s different, and more and more angry at his dad. However, Percy is not in touch with his own unknowing status; as a result, he strives to understand but understands less and less as he does so, hurting who he depends on the most and who depends on him the most—his mom.


Instead of putting the burden of answering his questions of worry on others he love, the article How to Focus on Studying by Kelly Roel suggests answering “one’s own internal questions”. By clarifying inside yourself how things are, you will be natural given a chance to rethink; this would help the emotional problems of Percy Jackson as well. It is also a tip worth trying when you get into an emotional breakdown and need answers.


Finally,  we come to the point of deciding responses to the questions asked in the beginning. We conclude that Percy does not have a balance of logic and emotion; instead, every described first-instinct in these choices is controlled by the heart, the mind coming in too late to do anything but patch a unhealable wound. We also define Percy’s persistence with a tint of harshness to be his trait, since he is far too easily shaken and far too unwilling to consider for it to be a result of unbearable frustration.


All in all, Percy’s sentimental judgments have mostly affected the community around him and himself negatively, and thinking from a different perspective, as we should all consider doing, will prevent this loop-hole from expanding.









Weapon and Flaw—An Analysis of Percy Jackson’s Character Trait


Percy Jackson’s most significant trait might be how he is emotionally-driven; this has a side that is negative, and one that is positive.


“The Minotaur,” I said.

“Um, Percy, it isn’t a good idea—”

“That’s what they call him in Greek myths, isn’t it?” I demanded. “The Minotaur. Half man, half bull.”


In this section on page 59, we see Percy reacting to his frustration—frustration at not knowing and not being allowed to know—by insisting on saying the name of a monster even when Grover, who is familiar with this newly discovered world, warned him not to. Here he has overtly expressed his emotion by shutting away danger and making a friend uncomfortable; even under the circumstances, we can determine the negative side of Percy’s trait—stubbornness.


Anyway, Nancy Bobofit was throwing wads of sandwich that stuck in [Grover’s] curly brown hair, and she knew I couldn’t do anything back to her because I was already on probation.

“I’m going to kill her,” I mumbled.

Grover tried to calm me down. “It’s okay. I like peanut butter.”

“That’s it.” I started to get up…


This part shows more perspectives than one. First off, it could be derived that Percy is extremely loyal, since even when he knows what he is risking he fights to stand up for his friend. Second, the argument that Percy is persistent is also legitimate; no matter what was ahead of him, in this case possibly dismissal from school, he strives for what he believes is right—his friend but also his honor. Of course, the battle for his honor or face could be defined as a sign of him being overly-emotional, or being too quick to react. Instead of what was said before, Percy might not have been aware of what laid ahead.


Percy’s emotion will be his most powerful weapon and his most fatal flaw; the way the plot is going, this trait will possibly turn him into a key component of the problem that has already been hinted in chapter 5, but it might also cause Percy an abundance of troubles.

6th Grade Science!


Science, or rather international school science, is something that I have rarely experienced before, because I transferred from a Chinese public school during 5th grade. What I am glad to have taken away from 6th grade is the familiarity with proposing experiments and concluding claims, which were what we always did. I would love to continue to learn to think like a scientist, and gain knowledge from real life.

In this particular project, we made a Thinglink image using facts and connections gathered in the WWF website. We read and thought about relationships in the wild, threats of extinction, and just how important every factor – biotic or abiotic – is in nature. The link above is my project, and I hope you get something out of the piece like we all have in 6th grade science!

Our Stories Make History

In this unit for humanities during the coronavirus crisis, we all made compilations of experiences we have been enduring. This primary source might one day in the future reach the ears and eyes of people who struggle to decipher the truth of the year 2020.  Through our written words they might discover what would be so precious for them to find out about this historical time, and it is for this that we create something that might one day do just that.

In my primary source, there are several things that I compiled. There is a picture collage that gives a vague idea of what I’ve been doing and how I’ve been feeling, then there is the emotional timeline that goes after the collage, giving a deeper definition of my life for the past months. To make the events in the timeline more true and more lively, I have journal entries in there as well, talking more about my stories and experiences. I have a video taken of my cooking show that I decided to do to symbolize what I’ve been doing a lot of with my mom, which is cooking and exploring all kinds of food. There are information extracted from articles and graphs, which reveals the informational side of all this. I have an extra booklist that did a great job to connect my experiences with that of the characters, especially emotionally. These materials together achieves a balance between fact and feeling, which was perhaps why I chose to do what I did.

This primary source will help historians in the future because it gives a different side of view. People might look at news articles now and learn about events; they might look at statistics to see numbers; they might read books that show them problems and solutions. What they can’t see is a journal entry about a teenager’s thoughts and stories, which really reveals so much of how it really is. That is why our stories are so treasurable.

What I’m really proud of is how I sifted through all my materials and chose the ones that have a great compact. I also think I did a good job to include feeling in the journal entries and all the small sections, which was what I really tried hard to do. Of course, it was also the hardest part of this project.

What I noticed during the making and writing of all the sources was that it is sometimes hard to grasp that emotional part inside and really use it well to showcase both truth and opinion. During such a hard time right now, it’s easy to feel stiff and unaware of somethings, and those somethings are exactly what I wished to bring out. I would find myself trying desperately to feel what I’d been feeling at a certain time, but couldn’t, because it seemed impossible to reach.

After weeks of brain-wrecking thinking work, though, the final project came out, and this is it right here:

the Time the World Went Pandemic (2)

We are living in a time that  people in the future would want to look back upon, and our stories make history.


Performance Proposal-Cooking Show!

In this unit and for this particular project, we all chose to create anything that is in anyway related to elearning, or just the past few months in general. This is the video I made for my cooking show, which is what I chose to do.


Dear Abby Letter – “I Will Always Right Back”

Dear Abby,                                                                                                                                                                                                                   December 12th, 1998

I am a 14 year-old student from Zimbabwe, and about a month ago, 10 people in our school got pen-pals from America. You can imagine how excited I was to be exchanging letters with someone from such a fabulous place!

We told each other our favourite music, our loving family, and all our stories, but then, one day, my pal sent me a photo, which, in Zimbabwe, is the rarest luxury. in the letter, my friend asked me to send her a photo of me, and I know I should, since we should both know how each other look like, so I sent my pal the only photo in our house, which is of me getting an award for school. But of course that wasn’t the end of my worries. My friend later sent me popular and expensive shirts, and I have no idea what to give her in return.

I love my friend, and though I feel like I can tell my companion everything, I’m afraid that if I tell her all the horrible things happening in Zimbabwe, and the bad economical situation we’re in, I would scare my pal away.

What should I do? I can’t have her sending me all these luxurious thing without giving her something in return, which I can’t, but I’m also nervous about telling her how poor we really are.

Please help!

Torn Pen-Pal


Early Humans and Us Reflection

For our last humanities project Early Humans and Us, I researched about agriculture technology and it’s changes.

I think what went well in this project was that I got enough time to do our research and finish the Thinglink image, though it was a bit hard to verify my information because the articles were rarely dedicated to the same topic. I used all of the websites our school suggested, but the information from often either facts I had know, information not really related(rarely), or completely “unique” information that I couldn’t validate. If I was able to see that the information were true, I might have took in more useful information. I think we could’ve gotten more time to work on validating our research, since that was my main problem.

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