The Jonestown Massacre Podcast

“Just take me. Just take me and just lay me down next to my grandmamma.” And she went up to that Kool-Aid, to that death barrel and she just, I mean — didn’t hesitate, just took it and drunk it and then told me to hold her, to take her, and I did. And she died in my arms.” ~ Hue fortson 

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A few weeks ago, in Design Studio, we were told to research a topic that we were interested in. This topic that we had chosen would later become written into a script and then produced into a podcast. But why a podcast you may ask? We were told to do a podcast so that it would’ve been different from anything else we had ever done. What was the point of this project? The point of this project was that it could be different from a class presentation, or speech, whereas through audio nobody can see who you are.

After researching a few historical topics like the murder of John F. Kennedy and other historical topics, I ended up choosing the Jonestown Massacre. But what was the Jonestown Massacre? 

In my podcast, I first introduce Jim Jones. The religious leader of the whole massacre itself. I then talk about his psychological mindset, his physical condition and behavior before everything first started.

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I go into talking about the people who had found out about him, outsiders, investigators, and journalists. In my podcast, I illustrated what happened to them, and then talked about what happened on the day of the massacre.

When you think of a massacre, the first thing that you probably think of is the Boston Massacre, because it’s known. But the Jonestown Massacre is different. It’s a piece of history that not many people know, a history that seems to go untold.

In my podcast, I give the Jonestown Massacre the recognition it deserves. Listen to it here: 

https://www.spreaker.com/user/minddrippings/jonestown-massacre

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Reflection: 

After producing my podcast, I had realized that it’s harder than it seems. Many people seem to think that since nobody is watching you recite the script, it’s easier. Although, that’s not the case. For the first couple tries of recording different sections, I began to stumble and stutter over my words. Later causing me to laugh at myself. Something that my dad also does as he makes his own podcasts as well. Although, after trying and again and again I gradually became better at my speech and things started sounding like a real professional podcast. I am proud of my work and I hope that others are as interested in my topic as I am.

 

 

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Presentation Of Learning (POL)

What is a Presentation of Learning? 

That’s the same exact question I thought to myself Sophomore year in Innovation Lab. Sure, I understood that it was a presentation of some sort but what would I say? What is the prompt? what are we supposed to talk about?

In this year’s Presentation of learning, I had planned what I had wanted to say. The Greenwich High School has a document called the: Vision of the Graduate.

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And this vision is how Mr. Winters and all of our teachers hope that we can achieve and later become. The document listed many different capacities, some which stated, “pursue their passions, interests, and curiosities”, or one that says, “pose and pursue substantive questions.” Those capacities were the ones I had ended up talking about. Everyone created their own prompt, wrote their own personalized speech to present in front of their teachers. Not one was as similar as other students.

Each student had to choose four of the capacities in the vision of the graduate to write about, in an essay format. For this, my essay ended up being six pages. But for the presentation, we only had to choose two capacities. And the ones that I had mentioned earlier were the ones I had chosen.

Back to what we were supposed to talk about…. the answer is, that each presentation and subject was different. Sure, we had to include both STEM and Humanities into our presentation but each individual had a very individualistic take on their presentation. Maybe we all had similar nervous reactions like playing with your hair a lot (which I did a lot!) or walking back and forth (which I also did). But, we all talked about different things that had made sense to us.

In my presentation, when I had talked about the capacity, pursue their passions, interests, and curiosities, I talked about volunteering and how that has become such a big influence on me. I began volunteering my freshman year. I was once a camper at the Camp Simmons day camp in Greenwich and I really really enjoyed being there. So, I went to the camp director and asked to become a volunteer when I could no longer be a camper. As I was a volunteer I learned more about leadership and responsibility. But at the same time, I learned about different personalities, cultures, and a lot of different aged kids and how they are as an individual. As I learned about these kids, I took the skills that I had gained and used the knowledge of different cultures and personalities and used my strength of that skill in an everyday classroom. The leadership side of things helped me with public speaking and letting my voice be heard. Through that experience and many other volunteering experiences (Camp Simmons volunteering sophomore year, cos cob summer school volunteering, Camp Hazen Leadership Program, and babysitting) I learned about myself but also learned about other people.

In the second capacity, pose and pursue substantive questions, I also talked about public speaking. Although in this case, interviewing others, and talking to other people about academic research and things that I am curious about. This year, for the National History Day Project I found the confidence to go out and interview a woman by the name of Camille E. Broderick. She is the Greenwich Scouting Board Member and knew a ton of facts and information on my project topic, Ernest Thompson Seton. I prepared a few questions and went to the Scout Reservation in Greenwich to Interview her. Not only have I interviewed her but I had also gone to the Greenwich Historical Society and talked to the Archivist Christopher Shields about Ernest as well.

Throughout being in Innovation Lab I’ve completed and succeeded many of the different capacities on the Vision of the Graduate. I’ve learned how to reach towards my interests, become academically knowledgeable, let my voice be heard and my curiosities be asked. After the success of my presentation, all I hope is that I keep achieving different goals of mine and to keep growing personally and academically.

The Word Silence

When you say the word silence, it’s loud. It doesn’t sound quiet or like a small whisper in the wind, but it makes noise. For the past week I have felt a sort of comfort within silence. I had a close friend out sick Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and for those three days of the week I had talked to nobody. It made me come to the realization of how lonely I am. How I rely to one person and if they are not there, I don’t have anybody to talk to or to lean on. I simply had the silence around me, hugging my soul and filling inside of me.

Silence. 

For those past three days I sat by myself listening to music and making myself seem busy. At lunch I watched One Tree Hill by myself and read some of 1984 by George Orwell. Wednesday night, I myself got sick. Since Wednesday, I had been stuck at home. A bad cough, stuffy nose, and a headache. It has been four days, four days ,with nothing but the sounds of sickness and the two syllables surrounding me, si-lence.

Silence. 

For these few days out of school and in bed, I have found a lot of time with myself alone. And during those times alone, comes with a lot of thinking, writing, and listening to music (unless I had a headache then I didn’t listen to music). When I listened to different songs, I came across this one song “Silence,” by Dave Thomas Junior and I started to listen to it. When I did, I started hearing; the silence right to my core.

This song was so soothing sounding. It sounding comforting but in a positive way. When people think of the word silence or think of having to sit in silence, they come to believe that it is boring or come to the idea that nobody really wants to be silent, and if they are it isn’t their choice. But for me, listening to this song was a choice. Sitting outside just listening to nothing and listening to the wind blowing near my ears was a choice. Laying on my bed and looking out of my window on a sick day, not thinking about anything was a choice.

Silence. 

Sometimes I am glad that I have the option of silence. To just be able to listen to something and be quiet and relax or listen to nothing at all and relax or to just not think of anything and relax, these are the things that make me realize that you don’t need people to breathe. You don’t need people around you to talk to you, to bug you, to laugh with you all the time. Sometimes the best feelings and thoughts and times when you can relax are those moments when you are alone and accept everything and nothing around you but the –

Silence. 

Taking A Stand With My Writing

Ever since I was a little girl, beginning at the Eugene Auer Elementary school in Lake Grove New York, I developed a passion for reading. First came reading, and then writing. My favorite book as a kid was always The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.

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From that, I wished to know what it was like to write a fictional story. Like the Magic Tree House book series, I began to write my own little series. From being inspired by these authors and books I had read, I would create my own little book with some printer paper and staples, make a cover, and title, and create a series of ten short stories. By that moment, I knew that this passion for writing wasn’t simply going to become a hobby, but an obsession, something that I had to do. Writing became something that I had needed to do, to inspire someone else through my writing like Mary Pope Osborne had influenced me to start my own mini-book series.

As a reader, I’ve read many great books. Books that have become even special to me. As a reader, I was influenced to write poems to alter the way others view poetry, and to inspire connections and change for those readers. When I take stands in the craft of my writing, I write to provoke different types of imagery, thoughts, and emotions in people’s minds.

When I write poetry I use fictional characters to inform others about different topics. I can write a poem about depression and connect it to how another girl can have the desire to take away her life. Although, in the end, she learns how to be strong and beat down the people who had hurt her. xHere is an example of one of my poems about depression:

The War in Her Mind 

I knew a girl with a big heart

Who loved the night and loved the art.  

She slept with monsters in her soul,

Her eyes were filled with ash from coal.

When morning raised, the girl did not.

Her body blue, with scars and dots.

Besides her bed were pills and knives,

She wanted to take her life.

You guilty-faced crowds who said names

That made her feel like burning in flames,

Sneak home and pray before she comes

from heaven–

she’ll beat you down like drums.

It is human nature to feel different emotions, including depression.  And in life, people can share those feelings and emotions with others in different ways, or instead not share them at all. As a young adult writer, I take a stand with my poetry and share those emotions through my writing. My goal is to write relatable and intriguing pieces that can cause the readers to connect and ponder. These pieces of writing can influence different perspectives, inspire people, and or change somebody significantly. Whether or not my writing changes a group of people or one person, I believe that it is an important craft to me, and can become an impactful piece of work to someone else.

 

The Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch

It floats at sea, imprisoned by the ocean and atmospheric forces. Twisting and twirling, suffocating in the depths of the deep blue. Its body still intact, suspended in water, getting pulled by the strong waves beneath. Almost drowning, not breathing, still in the water, getting ready to be digested by a sea animal.

 

A water bottle.

 

Have you ever wondered where your plastic and garbage ends up once you throw them onto streets or in rivers? The plastic that ends up on land most likely can end up in the ocean. If you don’t give enough care for the world around you, the ocean can look like the swirl from a flush of a toilet. Although, now, imagine that swirl from the flush being filled with garbage. Garbage full of debris and pieces of plastic, clogging that toilet.  Now imagine trying to clean it, and get rid of the mess, it’s difficult to clean up all of the plastic particles now, no matter how many times you try and clean it out. This is because of the microplastics, the plastics that are smaller than 1 mm. Now because of the large amounts of plastic entering the ocean. Plastic which does not biodegrade goes deeper than the surface, hidden under sand, which makes it impossible to clean up.

 

The entire ocean as a whole is filled with trash and plastic, although, in the North Eastern part of the Pacific Ocean, discovered by Captain Charles Moore in 1997, a garbage gyre can take up around 150,000 miles of the ocean. This swirling garbage gyre, that is constantly moving runs between Hawaii and California.

 

The Eastern Pacific Garbage patch is the most known and is the largest. It is what some may call, a ‘marine trash vortex’. A high pressured area, including high winds that can occasionally be lighter and blow clockwise. The plastic and other pieces of garbage can get swept and trapped by the oceanic and atmospheric forces, building up higher concentrations.

 

In connection to physics, motion, is a “change in position of an object over time.” Motion, also includes the distance, velocity, acceleration, time and speed of a specific body or object. The Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch, is like a galaxy of garbage, with stars made up of plastic, and darkness, suffocating the sea animals who get caught in the trash. The motion and movement of the gyre is caused by the ocean currents surrounding the gyre and convergence zone. The convergence zone is when airflows or ocean currents meet causing air and water to create an ongoing vortex of garbage.

 

Motion, generally means that it is, “a continuous change in the configuration of a physical system”. The Garbage Gyre in the Pacific, every day, continuously changes. The amount of garbage in these gyres change every year and about 60% of all pieces of plastic are eaten by sea animals, which sometimes includes birds that fly down to eat fish, but rather eats the plastic instead.

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What will it take to get plastics out of the ocean? Are you willing to save our oceanic wildlife?

An Attitude of Gratitude

This week, in Innovation lab, we were imposed a duty to write what we are thankful for in our lives. In my life I am thankful for multiple things, but when I am asked on the spot, I find it difficult to bring all of those things up. One thing, I am certain I am grateful for, is the supportive Innovation lab community, and the amazing teachers I have met with and befriended this past year and a half. I am thankful that I am in Innovation Lab, because without it I wouldn’t have been able to grow to be the person I am today.

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Besides my academic values I am thankful for many other things that make up who I am today. Without the friends that I have, I wouldn’t be as open and or confident in myself. My friends are there for me and without them, without my closest friends by my side I don’t know what I would be doing or who I would go to for comfort and encouragement.

Another thing that I am thankful for is the interest and strength I have for writing. I am grateful for my creativity and being able to grow and improve my writing throughout the years. I have two mentors, Mr. Belanger and Ms. Hawes who absolutely love to read, help revise and give me constructive criticism on my poetry, and I am thankful for these two teachers/mentors of mine that constantly help me with my writing.

Lastly, I am thankful for the things and people that are always there for me no matter what. Whether this includes my family, my friends, or simply anybody who makes me happy. I remember throughout the end of last year I was having a hard time and struggling with academic things and personal things as well. My grades were slipping and I just had a lot of stress. Now, I am happier than I have ever been before, I have the courage to do better in school and the strength to fight my past. I am on top of my work, and I have a lot of people looking out for me that I absolutely adore. I am grateful that I have these people in my life today and I’m grateful that I now have the courage to work more on myself and to be the best ‘me’ I can be with the help of those around me.

Why Inlab?

Innovation lab is a program in which students come together to create projects, experiment new ideas, and to learn about collaboration, working together, and using meta-cognition while doing these things.

Innovation Lab isn’t the only type of Innovative labs and programs around the world. There are many other types of learning facilities and ‘Innovation Labs’ in different schools, colleges even.

Take NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering CITE Game Innovation Lab for example. In this Innovation Lab it offers a more hands on environment. It offers students who enjoy engineering and technology to be apart of something and to research and create new experiences and new projects. To learn and to grow.

This is what their Innovation Lab looks like:

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What makes the Innovation Lab program at Greenwich High School different is that it not only focuses on engineering and technology like some schools Innovation Labs do but it offers different types of areas of focus and study that interest many different people. Things included like English and History, science and math. And also including a Design Studio, whereas we have a class of a few people and work on our classwork or we are given an assignment, to prepare for SAT’s, or to watch a Tedtalk on something related to what we are learning.

What makes Innovation Lab the right thing for me, is that it allows me, as a student, to have an open mind and create more goals for myself to gain success. Throughout the projects that are assigned to us in Innovation lab we are given the chance to challenge ourselves and to create goals for ourselves. We are given the chance to find the determination in starting and finishing a project, to research, to collect data, to read and analyze a book, to work together, to come together, and to have fun.

Innovation Lab is also the right thing for me because the program lets me jump outside of my comfort zone and do things I’ve never thought and believed I could ever do. For example, last year,  my first year in Innovation Lab I was a sophomore. As a project that combined between Science and English, we were given the opportunity to display our projects and our work to parents and the public at the Bruce Museum. This helped me with my confidence skills, it helped me with my public speaking skills, and showing others what we can do, create, and learn in Innovation Lab.

That’s what Innovation Lab is about, It’s about achieving knowledge and developing our mindsets for stronger and better growth determination.

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As an Innovation Lab student we are taught to take our learning step by step. While reading a book, lets say, A lesson before dying, we have to take step by step procedures and analyze quotations to talk about for a discussion. We use critical thinking, and meta-cognition for deep thinking and deeper learning. Innovation lab is a program whereas it allows students to utilize deeper learning. To get our brains thinking and to find new discoveries, new strengths and to work on our weaknesses.

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Why Innovation Lab? 

Why not?  It’s a program where I can discover new things about myself and to learn in a more effective, fun, interesting, and creative way. Without it, I don’t know whether or not I would be as successful and confident as I am, and grown to be now.

 

Building a Sustainable World Community

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: Economic development that is conducted without depletion of natural resources.

Living in a Sustainable community, we face the struggles of making sure that we are living a sustainable life and we are taking care of others with less sustainability. Many global citizens around the world make sure that we maintain and create goals to help and value these Sustainable developments trying to be made. A Global Citizen as said by Ron Israel, a global citizens initiative, “is someone who sees themselves as part of an emerging sustainable world community, and whose actions support the values and practices of that community.” Some of these below are goals of sustainable development whereas us as global citizens need to create in our world and accomplish.

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For the first one, No Poverty, would be the hardest to eradicate. It is something all of humanity faces. If you find yourself walking down New York City, you can find homeless people against walls begging for money or sitting down in their own despair because of being in poverty.

Besides Sustainable development, as mentioned on earthzine, “ensuring a sustainable future will require the majority of people to transform their current lifestyles. Communities act as the cocoons to metamorphose individuals into ecological citizens with strong beliefs routed in sustainable justice and environmental stewardship.”

There is not only sustainable development and sustainability with ensuring a strong and capable community but another way of describing sustainability, and probably the most heard of way is sustainable environment.

Sustainable environment is like sustainable development. In both you need a determined community and environment whereas people want to give in their time to flourish issues in the world and the world itself, through the soil, above the ground in society.

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Voting your conscience and Ethical Responsibility in the Election

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For a while now we’ve been witnessing and watching the presidential debate occurring right in front of our eyes. The media surrounds us and gives us the advantage to research and look deep into the two candidates running. Hillary Clinton on the left and Donald Trump on the right.  Both candidates whose pasts affect their future, both candidates who will bring something different to our country if elected as president, both candidates who people support, are afraid of, or don’t know who to vote for.

Hillary Clinton, supports a wide range of things which draws a lot of people towards her. Although some things that she had done in the past pushed people away from her. These things included the crimes that she committed and the emails that she had deleted.

Although, as well as Trump, he had a past that also affected the decisions people made about who to vote for. He was seen saying inappropriate and hurtful things about women and this allowed society to question whether or not he was the right choice for the presidency.

This drew many women towards Hillary Clinton because of her and her gender. As Estelle Schultz once said in an article called I was born before women could vote. Now I’m voting for one for president.; “I think women do bring something to the office: a sensitivity that most men don’t have. I saw the election of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May. Merkel, May and Hillary would be a wonderful triad to rule the world. Maybe they’d be able to bring about some peace and quality growth that hasn’t happened yet.” Estelle Schultz was born before the 19th amendment and cast her vote for Hillary Clinton because she had won Estelle’s support.

The question that is thriving on the internet and around society right now is, are other women and people making educated votes for the candidates running for presidency? There are many challenges in this election, and this one being one of them. Many people are being forced into voting and sometimes they end up voting for somebody they either, don’t know much about, voting for them for the wrong reasons, and or are being forced to so that there are more votes for those candidates. Other challenges of this election is trying to figure out who you trust more. Voting for someone who will have a large role in our lives for the next four years is going to be a very difficult decision, and to some, it may be hard to make the right vs. wrong decision. The worst thing you can do is vote for somebody out of pressure or because of what other people are saying about that candidate. You’re more prone to vote and give attention to somebody that everybody is talking about, and if we’re talking about this very divisive presidential race, it can either be Hillary or Trump to be our president for the next four years. Which is better?

In my opinion I think Hillary Clinton will win. I’m not saying that I want her to win, but I know that she has been trying to use her supporters to gain more votes for her campaign and to be elected as president. Just this weekend, in Cleveland Ohio, she held a free concert for people to come and watch Beyonce and Jay-Z sing. Beyonce goes on and says, “I want my daughter to grow up seeing a women lead our country and knowing that her possibilities are limitless.” Jay Z as well speaks saying, “This other guy, I don’t have any ill will… he cannot be my president. He cannot be our president. Once you divide us, you weaken us, we are stronger together.”

This concert drew people towards Hillary and the fact that her, being a woman, people are becoming more driven to vote for her. Whatever the results become to be, I hope that our country doesn’t slowly begin to crumble. I hope that whoever is elected will help us unite, to becoming stronger and closer with one another. To teach people to accept one another for who they are, and to not discriminate others because of their cultures, backgrounds, nationalities. And I hope that if Hillary is elected to be our new president, it is because of the things she is proposing and not because of her gender or having celebrities back her up.

Who does Aeroponics?

In an article called, ‘World’s Largest Vertical Farm Grows without Soil, Sunlight, or Water,’ it is said that aeroponics is, “a technique in which crops are grown in vertical stacks of plant beds, without soil, sunlight or water.” With aeroponics and as well as hydroponics vertical farming has taken part and action around the world more and more. As mentioned in the article, “about five new commercial vertical farming operations have emerged over the past few years that use a range of controlled growing technologies to allow year-round harvests of crops that typically have a short growing season.”

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These Aerofarms (aeroponic farms) that are being created more and more around the world sell their products free of pesticide and fertilizer. The reason as to why the production is so successful is because customers are attracted to organic produce, and that is exactly what aeroponic farms offer.

In shorter terms, aeroponic farming, as mentioned on wikipedia, is the, “process of growing plants in an air or mist environment without the use of soil.” Aeroponic systems in these types of aeroponic farms work by using small amounts of water and very little to sometimes no soil. The way the system works and the positives of the systems is that these “water-based” solutions are used to, “promote healthy growth in the plants,” as mentioned in an article called; “Aeroponics 101: facts about soilless growing technology. In these aeroponic farm systems the water, as mentioned in this article, is, “pumped from the reservoir into the micro-jet nozzles which distribute the nutrient solution to the roots at programmable intervals.” Aeroponics are beginning to become the solution to, “filling the growing need to conserve water and energy, as well as healthy food systems especially in the city and high density populations.

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What used to be an abandoned steel mill in Newark, New Jersey, is now an Aeroponic farm being created that is said to be the largest vertical farm, with about two million pounds of different types of plants and vegetables a year. The company has spent some, “$30 million dollars to bring to reality a new breed of green agriculture that seeks to produce more crops in less space while minimizing environmental damage, even if it means completely divorcing food production from the natural ecosystem.”