Friday, June 15, 2018

No Scars to the Circulatory System

To conclude our Human Body Systems unit, we did a project on the system we were most interested in. I was grouped with Rachitha and Caroline, and we decided to create a song about our system, the circulatory system, to the tune of one of our personal favorites, Scars to Your Beautiful by Alessia Cara.

From this project I learned that you need to be a flexible teammate! We did not have a lot of time to complete this project but I am very happy with what we came up with. Next time, I will prioritize better during the process of creating the project. I really appreciate the opportunity to study the circulatory system more!

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Calamitous Cold War

Imagine if you and your friend had a fight, where you both passionately believe that you were correct. You ignore each other for a while and give each other the cold shoulder. You try to build up your "alliances" (friends) against your friend. You try to seem more powerful and less willing to give in so that your friend will apologize first.

Now magnify that about a million times, introduce proxy wars into their midst, and add in troubles with missiles and other communist countries - and you've got the Cold War.

Returning from track out, we resumed our Cold War unit in Social Studies. We made a graffiti poster to review vocabulary from before our break. This is my group's poster.

Terms that we used in the poster include: United Nations, NATO, democracy, communism, containment, Berlin Wall, Korean War, capitalism, space race, arms race, and domino theory.

To add on to that, I wrote the names of important leaders of the US and the Soviet Union during this time period. Firstly, Ronald Reagan (top) was the president of the US at the end of the Cold War. After Reagan is USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Following Gorbachev is John F. Kennedy. JFK was the president of the United States during the Bay of Pigs Invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

On Thursday we participated in an activity called the Chopped Challenge, based off of Food Network's show "Chopped". We all got a song written during the time of the Vietnam War that symbolized how people were feeling about the war effort. The song my group got was "The Fightin' Side of Me". (Listen to that song here.) We analyzed the song for figurative language, mood, theme, and connections to the Vietnam War.

Then, we got a bag of mystery materials that we had to make a 3D representation of our song out of. In the bag was 5 different types of ribbon/fabric, a Chinese finger trap, and a pipe cleaner. We also had the use of a few inches of tape and a sheet of paper. Here is what my group came up with:

We created a graveyard, which represented one of the lines in the song: "Runnin' down a way of life / Our fightin' men have fought and died to keep". The red cloth represents communism. All the other materials are covering it to show the idea of containment (the communism is being trapped in).

In the Vietnam War, many people were unhappy about the war effort because the North Vietnamese communists led by Ho Chi Minh were very powerful and fought guerrilla wars. The US lost 58,000 lives in the Vietnam War.

Last Friday, we took the Cold War unit test. It was very interesting to learn about a war as unique as the Cold War. Next Unit: The World Today. Can't wait!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Wage Peace, Not War

One of the questions I had after our Interwar/WW2 unit was about the peace treaties after World War 2. I was curious to know how the treaties did not lead to another world war as the treaties in World War 1 did. I knew that they must be different in some way because one failed to keep peace while the other has prevented a third world war from occuring. My research question for this project was 

"How were the peacemaking treaties at the end of both world wars different, and how was peace kept after World War 2?"

In 1944 the main Allied powers, USA, Great Britain, Soviet Union and the Republic of China sent delegates to meet, negotiating postwar parameters. The 1945 San Francisco conference was later held to write the charter of the UN with representatives from over fifty countries. The countries present in this diorama are the UN Security Council - the victors of WWII: France, USA, Republic of China, Great Britain and the Soviet Union.

The United Nations (UN) was created to replace the League of Nations which was ineffective. The UN was made to keep peace internationally and resolve future conflicts between countries without resorting to war. This happened because the Atlantic Charter was signed, saying that peaceful negotiation would be used instead of threatening or using force.
The League of Nations did not have any power and not much representation. Not all countries participated in the League of Nations. The United Nations was formed with the failure of the League of Nations in mind, and was more successful because of this experience of failure. The charter of the UN was written with the contribution from fifty countries, all sharing their views for world peace. I really liked this opportunity to answer our own wonder questions. We got to research something that we were interested in, and then present it to our peers. I enjoyed this project, and I hope we have another next quarter that is similar.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Write Just Because

Write poetry. Write things that rhyme. Write things that don't. Use a specific poetic form. Or not. Describe things in the most intense forms of imagery there is. Overload on your figurative language until it's on the brink of not making sense, teetering on the edge of that cliff between sanity and insanity. Read it over and over, and question your choice of every word, every syllable, because when it's done, you'll feel better.

Write things that don't make sense. Confuse your readers. Confuse yourself. Let out all your emotions. Write those things that you would never say aloud, write those things that make you groan in disgust or embarrassment, write those things that make you end your sentence in "akljdzsfjlaiuymxs I'M DEAD".

Write about things that don't make sense to you. Social cliques. Sports. Things that are around but you don't understand why they are. Why does the world seem so big? Why is it so limited? Why do I matter? I'm just one tiny human being in one tiny house in one tiny city in one tiny country in one tiny continent in one tiny world in one tiny solar system in one tiny galaxy in the huge universe that is still growing, bigger and larger and bigger and larger.

Write to torture yourself. Write about your fantasies and the things that you just WISH that you could have, but you know are impossible. Write about what you think the future might be. Write about how the world could end one day, and why people like Nostradamus can predict the ending of the world to one exact year - 3797.

Write to express your feelings. Write just to reread what you've written in five years, because in those few years you may well be more mature, or in a better situation, or just needing a laugh from someone who doesn't exist anymore, someone who you were five years ago.

Write in a bullet journal. If you can't form complete sentences then put it in bullets, doodle things to go with it. Not every journal entry has to feel like a story. Not every story has to be written down. Some can be just listed, in bullets.

Write, then screw up your format. write in all lowercase letters because it's been a long day. WRITE IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS BECAUSE YOU HAVE A SCREAM WAITING TO COME OUT, AND NOT IN YOUR PILLOW. Write normally because it's a normal poem, but no poems are normal, for they are all unique. Type it all up because you've run out of paper, or because you want it to look professional. Center it. Align it to the left, or right. Or make it in a zig-zag pattern.

Write because you're inspired. Write because you don't have anything better to do. Write to finally take your big ideas out of small boxes. Write to be rebellious. Write because you're vulnerable. Write just because.

I can't wait to read what you write.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

A Terrible War of Bloodshed, Bias and Bravery

18 million lives lost; 23 million more wounded. All in all, that's over 40 million casualties. Propaganda played a key role in encouraging citizens to support either the Allied Powers or the Central Powers. Courageous soldiers fighting through horrible conditions in trenches or in the wintry weather in the mountains. World War 1 was a terrible war of bloodshed, bias and bravery.

We have just concluded our World War 1 and Russian Revolution unit. This was a big and serious unit. I learned a lot and truly respect all that went to fight in it.

At the beginning of this unit, we were asked to film ourselves talking about what we already knew and what we'd like to learn about World War 1. We later revisited these videos and responded to them with what we learned. Here is my video.

A minor project that I completed was the WW1 propaganda poster. The goal of this project was to increase our understanding of the effect of propaganda in WW1. It was one of the most important tools in supporting the war effort in both WW1 and WW2. My poster is pictured below.

My poster is encouraging citizens to join the army to avenge loved ones who have passed. The colors on my poster are bold, to attract attention, but also convey remorse for the dead. Using the propaganda strategy of fear by reminding people of passed loved ones, I hope my poster will encourage people to "Enlist to Resist". (Summary of poster, propaganda strategy, purpose, and target audience)

I know that I could have done a lot better on this poster. If I had more time and a second chance to do this project, I would make the poster better quality, more artistic and more sensible. I am still happy with my performance on this project with the time that I was given to finish it.

I learned a lot from the World War 1 and Russian Revolution unit, and I'm excited to learn about World War 2, our next unit! I know that a lot of my peers know more about WW2 than WW1, so I am excited to hear their knowledge of this topic. I would like to know the number of casualties in WW2, so I can acknowledge those soldiers' bravery too. To learn more about WW2, I will pay attention to this coming unit and talk with my peers. I will also do extra research if necessary. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Don't Hug an Amoeba

Seriously! It's a bad idea. Don't do it!

(Well, I suppose they're too small to do you any harm.)

Amoebas are a type of protist. What's a protist, you say? Protists are a diverse group of eukaryotic organisms who aren't considered plants or animals, and are simply classified together for convenience. "Oh, hi, Paramecium! Good to see you today! Hmm, you have a nucleus, and a membrane? Cool! Let's chuck you over into that bucket with Euglena and the other protists. Good day; watch out for the amoebas, I think they're hungry today!"

Paramecia are another type of protists. They're known for their cilia, the thousands of hair-like organelles that help them move and eat. They also have organelles that some protists don't have, such as oral grooves and anal pores. Interestingly enough, they also have two nuclei. If you do a quick web search, you'll also find that paramecia are the amoebas' favorite lunch.

Speaking of amoebas eating lunch, let's talk about how the amoeba creates pseudopodia. Firstly, the amoeba has two types of cytoplasm: endoplasm and ectoplasm. The ectoplasm is near the membrane (outer cytoplasm). To move, the amoebas push their ectoplasm to create pseudopods, which are also known as "false feet".

The amoeba also use these pseudopodia to eat. Instead of eating their food like a normal person - er, protist - they engulf their food with their pseudopods, and digest them by secreting enzymes through the cytoplasm to the food vacuole.

Lastly, the euglenas! These protists are, in my opinion, also highly fascinating. They are both autotrophs and heterotrophs, which means that they can consume food OR make their own! They also have a whip-like structure called a flagellum which helps them move.

Are you planning to attend the Protist Party? Don't worry too much about those paramecia. When they get mad at the amoebas, they protist peacefully, so it's all good.

*If you're having trouble with some of the words in this post, please visit these links:
Journey to the Center of the Cell post
Journey to the Center of the Cell story

Saturday, January 13, 2018

-"Ism"'s of History

Industrialism, Nationalism, Imperialism. All fancy -"ism" terms related to the history of you, me, and all the people around us, yet so different at the same time. Want an explanation?


Look around you. I'm sure you'll see some modern invention or electronic device. People bent over their iPhone 7 's? A television broadcasting the news? Or even just something simple, like a 24-pack of mechanical pencils or a bucket of dog toys.

All these things were mass produced. That means that they were made in bulk, in large quantities. Industrialism helped with that. There weren't always factories. There wasn't always a need to have extra money. A long time ago, people were only focused on growing enough food for their family. This was called an agrarian society. When the Industrial Revolution began around 1760, everything started changing, slowly but surely.

People started getting obsessed with getting rich. These capitalist people wanted a surplus. The high demand for goods made more jobs, and factories were built. In the beginning, factories ran on hydroelectricity. Later on, they were converted to running on coal, which polluted the environment a lot more. (See here to learn about how we designed our own developing city.)

Don't you love your iPhone 7? Well, thanks to factories and mass production, you can get it shipped to your house right after you order it.


Is there an American flag in the room? Stand and pledge your allegiance. Nationalism is similar to Patriotism. Your pride in your country, beliefs, cultures and traditions.

Listen to our national anthem. The lyrics talk about how our flag was still standing through all the hardships we've been through together. It makes references to our revolutionary war when we fought for independence.

Nationalism is an key part to keeping a country together.


Imperialism is when a country extends its power to other countries by acquiring territories.

An example of imperialism in history is the Scramble for Africa. This event was called the Scramble for Africa because it was just discovered that Africa was chock-full of natural resources! So, all the European countries wanted their share, to become a more powerful country in trade.

The Berlin Conference of 1884 was held to avoid war, and Africa was divided up between the countries.

The -"ism"'s of history are important to all of us!