Voices In The Dust

It filled my eyes

the dark clouds of destruction.

we sat in the house looking at the darkness swallowing us whole.

we had hope, that it would go away.

but when one lasted one hundred hours, we couldn’t imagine it ever leaving.

one night I woke up,

to get a sip of water.

My lungs were trapped with dirt.

I knew I was going to die.

there was no doubt about it.

Even the water tasted like dirt.

It filled my eyes.

It took over my soul.

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The differences between Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 (so far)

Quarter 1

Humanities: 

in Innovation lab was great. In humanities and stem we learned about many different kinds of subjects and other things that I’ve never learned about before. In humanities we learned about workers rights, muckrakers, and a lot about the progressive era and poets at the time. We also began doing a lot of group work. For English we started doing a lot of work for The Great Gatsby and started analyzing different poems from the progressive era as well.

Quarter 2

So far it is going well. I have noticed a large rise in the homework we have been receiving but I am more on top of my work than I was last year. In Inlab, we are pushed to complete different assignments by different due dates and we are challenged to face our fears and do things we may have not done before. In humanities this quarter, so far, we’ve been doing many things in both History and English. For English we finished the Great Gatsby book and completed our journal entries for each chapter we read. Now, we are preparing ourselves for a essay that will be due later on and each individual in the class were able to choose what they wanted to write about based on the Great Gatsby. These essays we will be writing later on are called Analytical essays. This will be a challenge for me since I have never written an Analytical essay. In history we began learning about WW1 and creating our own activities and presentations with a group of people on a topic we were given. My topic was film in the 1920s and I believe that our presentation was good but could’ve been better if I had looked up more when I was speaking. We are also working on our own individual projects based on the modernism of the 1920s in humanities and this project will be due, I believe after thanksgiving break.

STEM: 

Quarter 1

In science we learned about the periodic table and the different areas of the periodic table. Such as the metals and non-metals. We also did a water testing lab, where we tested different kinds of water and found their pH. We learned about Dissolved oxygen, Ammonium Ions, Chloride Ions, Calcium Ions and the meanings of different scientific words. We also spent a large amount of time of the quarter working on our group projects that were about the Nitrogen cycle and water cycle. We took two quizzes, one on the lewis dot structure and one on the water cycle. In my spare time I watched videos about atoms, molecules, phases of matter, chemical bonds, and the difference between covalent and ionic bonds. During this quarter as well we took a trip to the water treatment plant and it was very interesting as well. We also had two math assignments on google docs that we had to complete and this was also a challenge for me since I am not very good at math but I got help from my teacher and other teachers and that was very helpful.

Here is how my some of my stem journal pages had looked for the first quarter:

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To prepare for quizzes I took notes, during class I took notes. I took notes on many things so I could go back to them in case I have forgotten.

Quarter 2

In science this quarter so far we’ve been working on the Identity project. A project where you create an image of something that represents you and your identity. This was a challenge but I finally found something to do and hopefully other people like it as much as I do. For this project we are also doing an online part as well on Desmos. To create our art we use different functions and math equations and this part, for me, is a little challenging but I’m constantly asking others for help on how to do something and their advice and responses are very helpful as well. In this quarter we also got to have the chance to do video responses with a school in Honolulu Hawaii about our two different projects. In my group, with Dylan, Enzo, and Tyler we had the chance to explain what our projects were and we had the chance to talk to people all the way on the other side of the world, which was also very cool. For there projects they did a project on hydroponics and it wasn’t complete yet so we didn’t get to hear much about it. So far, the school year is going great and I hope it keeps being great because I love how well I am doing in my academics already and I need to keep it that way.

 

 

Identity Project

In STEM class we are currently working on a project called the ‘identity project’. In this project we were told to draw an art piece of how we think of ourselves and the image has to explain our identities. This was completely harder than it seems. Trust me. I had to think, “Who am I?” and “What kinds of images shows who I am?”. Thinking about who I was was very difficult. Was a an amazing sports player? No.  Was I always a A+ student? No (I wish though). I decided to keep asking myself questions like this but questions that may relate to who I was. As much as I wanted to believe I was something as cool as a famous sports player, I was not. So, putting a basketball on my image wouldn’t make much sense. By the end of my brainstorming I had gotten these images down on paper. 

 

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In the image above, I included the back of a spine (which is in brown and yellow to show decay and being very fragile), a butterfly on the bottom to represent the tailbone. One side is a butterfly the other is an ear with music notes besides it to represent my love for music), flowers are besides the spine with little seeds to show growth, the leaves coming down from the flowers are shown to represent the people in my family, the mountains, sun and trees at the top are to represent happiness and more growth, the cloud with the eye in the center is to represent sadness and rain, and lastly, the dream catcher near the trees are to represent my goals and hard work.

Working on the physical piece wasn’t as difficult once I knew what I wanted to draw. Each color represents a different idea. All of the pink represents warmth, originality, and imagination. The red, from the heart in the center of the spine represents love, determination, strength, and passion, green represents growth and family, blue represents sadness, and brown and yellow represent fragility. Each color represented a different part of me, a different piece of my identity.

After creating this part of the project we were told to begin our online part using an online graphing calculator called “Desmos”. At first, I did not know what I was going to do and or what functions to use to create my piece. My piece was very abstract so I decided to simplify it a bit. In my online piece I chose to only use the spine, the butterfly as a whole(without the ear part), the cloud with the sun and maybe some mountains at the top to represent growth. I noticed that my physical piece had a lot of little parts and simply trying to add in everything will be very difficult and take very long. Here is what my online piece looks like so far:

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I have created the beginning of the spine and added in the butterfly at the bottom. I also created the cloud with the sun on the top instead of the side because it looked a little better. I may or may not add the raindrops below the cloud, I will most likely need help with doing so. I also will most likely need help transferring the cloud to the other side of the graph in the first quadrant and angle it a little higher. I do not know how to do some stuff but it’s okay, asking for help doesn’t hurt.

 

Dedicated to the Great Gatsby

I’m just so tired… tired of trying. Tired of wanting something I can’t have. Do you ever have that excited feeling when you want something and you think you can achieve your goal? Yeah me too. But in the end, that goal is never achieved. And when that goal is a person…you only have one chance. If that one chance isn’t good enough then your wish turns into dust and you’re just left with nothing. And then you’re just tired. Tired of trying.

The Museum Of Modern Art Field Trip

On Wednesday, November 11th the whole Innovation lab took a trip to the Museum Of Modern Art (MoMA). While in the city, before we went into the museum, we saw the outdoor skating rink, radio city, and a really pretty church

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I also saw a lot of pretty buildings and american flags, because of veterans day. When it was time to go into the Museum we saw many different pieces of art. Some of my favorite were:

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In this photo you can see some plants and pictures of houses on beaches. I really liked these photos because of the simplicity and the black and white contrast.

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We also saw a lot of art outside of the Museum like this golden statue near the skating rink and we also saw Radio city where people do acting and singing. Here above this text is also a picture of the outside of the Museum. Outside of the museum there were many people cooking and selling food, food trucks and selling jewelry and clothing due to veterans day.

Another Photo I liked was the photo Starry Night by Van Gogh.

photo 4 I really liked the colours in this and the tree and how it the tree is like a silhouette. I think it portrays happiness and sadness from the yellow sun and the blue sky.

Here are some other photos and sculptures I also really liked:

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Here is a photo from the exhibit in Pablo Picasso. From this section of the Museum you can see the buildings and the little area outside. I thought this was part was pretty because I like nature and NYC buildings.

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Since it was veterans day there was a veterans day parade and I was able to take a few pictures of it which was really cool and interesting since I’ve never seen the veterans day parade.

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Lastly, Katherine Hurst took a photo of me trying to pose like the image on the wall:

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Overall the fieldtrip was really fun and interesting.

STEM Air, Soil and Water Project

The purpose of my Stem, air, soil, and water project was to determine whether or not fertilized water could affect fish. I found this important because I love marine life and I hate it when our human waste and pollution harms the aquatic animals. While researching information for the project I learned that fish can be harmed by the fertilizer that runs off of farms, fields, and yards.

Here you can read more about the process of my project and more information I researched: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Oe7OJCaX6ORemetn-4Jncf4xkAAGhZSzUJEp0e-NILI/edit?usp=sharing 

During my groups experiment we contributed different ideas and listened to each other. Some times we went our own ways and didn’t collaborate like we should have. Spending a whole semester conducting my own independent research has been a hassle. But, working together with other people helps a lot when you’re confused on something or when you need to expand on ideas and thoughts. Working with other people that I didn’t know at first was very questionable. As a scientist, I decided, to be open to other people’s ideas and suggestions. Therefore, the tasks that had to be done were completed on time without too much arguing. I learned that working in groups is very hard. Last time I worked in a group for a project was in 6th grade. It was easy because all we did was draw images of animals or something like that. Except for science it is different. You really have to be motivated to your tasks done and communicate with your group members so that everyone knows what they should be doing or what should be done.

One of the things I am most proud of in our project was the amount of improvement we had from the beginning to the end. At first, we didn’t know, exactly who was doing what and what the project was even about. Sometimes we tried to figure things out on our own but that does not always work. To work better together and understand what was going on we did group chats where we explained what has to be done by what date. This helped everyone to get a better sense of what they should be doing during our class times. Other times when we were confused we called for either of our teachers, Mr. Walach for Algebra 2 or Dr. Goldin for Environmental Chemistry. When they came over we asked questions and took notes of things that they said for better improvement on our project. After all of our hard work, it finally paid off for a good successful grade and the good feeling of accomplishment that came afterwards.

Some other weaknesses that our group had but faced was building our experiment. At first, it was a little difficult to assemble the different parts of our project together but in the end it all worked fine. In our project we have water in a large container, soil with miracle grow in a separate container inside the larger container, and fish inside of the water. Before we even began building it was difficult to figure out what should go where and how we were going to set up our experiment was difficult as well. Everyone in my group had different ideas on how to set it up which was great, the hard part was choosing which idea to use. At the end of a debate and a little bit of voting on the best idea we decided on an idea and stuck to it. Although before building we decided to draw an outline on how we wanted our project to look like. This helped so we had a better understanding of what was going to be built. 

Great Gatsby Found Poem

For class today, November 6th 2015, we learned about Found poetry. Found poetry is when you take certain words or phrases from another poem or passage from a book and take the words and phrases you chose to create a poem. A poem with words and phrases you found from the original piece. You may have seen newspaper poetry before, also called blackout poetry. If you buy a book, you could use a sharpie or marker to cover the words you don’t want to use and have the phrases you use for the poem visible. Here’s an example: 

Austin Kleon, became a New York Times best seller because of his three books; Steal like an artist, Show your work!, and Newspaper Blackout. 

In his book he showed some of his Newspaper blackout poems he had created. He made his pages look creative and interesting and have meaning. Here is an example:

In class we were told to make a found poem with our assigned group. In my group, we created this poem altogether to describe Gatsby’s loneliness throughout the book:

I found myself alone again, in the unquiet darkness,

Glaring tragically into the night.

She never loved you

It was a terrible mistake

The words shook me,

Took me,

To a spectacular death.

Afterwards, when we still have a little time left, I created my own found poem from words and phrases from The Great Gatsby. Here is my poem:

This is a valley of ashes.

Rising smoke and crumbling air.

The haunting Twilight felt lonely.

I’ll tell you god’s truth,

if it wasn’t for the mist,

the pink clouds would rush with emotion.

she pulled his face, murmuring an “I love you”.

Her voice is money.

This is a valley of ashes.

windy evenings,

old friends,

broken windows.

Knuckles of black and blue.

Her heart,

forever silenced.

Open the whiskey,

you poor son of a bitch.

This is a valley of ashes.

A burning cigarette trembles,

in her cold hands.

wide eyes,

panicking.

Rapid speaking,

terror.

This is a valley of ashes.

invisible ghosts frighten him.

she’s gone,

flirtation is over.

Human sympathy is too wise,

unlike her.

This is a valley of ashes.

I’ll tell you god’s truth,

she doesn’t love you.

I don’t want you to get the wrong idea.

I promise you a decade of loneliness,

this is a valley of ashes, 

So you ought to begin wrapping the whiskey in a towel.

This shows a lot of things. The love Gatsby and Daisy had in the beginning, then the fight Gatsby and Tom had that changed everything and then Gatsby going back to what he didn’t want to be, lonely. I also added the part with the whiskey because it can relate to people drowning out their sadness and I feel like if the movie was re-written to fit modern day, he would be drinking away his sadness and loneliness.

Effective Persuasion

How many times have you wanted something so bad that you tried to persuade your parents into buying it? You told them all the reasons why you should have whatever it was and why it was a good thing to get it. Most of the time, if you have effective persuasion, this works. Whenever Christmas rolls around or your birthday, the thing you’ve been begging for is hidden underneath the wrapping paper just waiting for you to open. Effective persuasion comes in many different ways. Whether you’re trying to persuade someone to get you something, trying to persuade someone about something you’ve researched on, or persuading someone on the importance of something.

In Science class my group and I are currently stressing about what we have left to do for the projects due date, this Friday. The one big thing we seem to be skipping how to persuade our listeners about the importance of what we researched and how the little things like the lack of Calcium or how the fertilizer effects the fish. This is a huge part of our project when it all comes down to us presenting our experiment. It all came down to figuring out how to have a good enough explanation for an effective persuasion.

Some things I have looked up on about effective persuasion have been very useful. Some steps to the do’s and don’ts of how to be an effective speaker came up. Here are some of them:

Do 

Prepare yourself. Whether you are going to try and talk your way into a better grade (like Cher Horowitz from Clueless)   or presenting your work in front of a class, you need to prepare yourself on how to do it the correct way to become successful. Do you want to get that C to an A? Are you nervous about a test or your grades for the quarter? Set up a day to meet with your teacher and prepare yourself before hand on what to say. If your persuasion is effective enough and you are honest and sincere in what you say, you may get extra help before the test or be able to redo work for that C to go to an A. Simply asking, will make your teachers believe that you actually care about your grades; which you should. Do this, and you’ll get your bad grade to a better one in no time. Just don’t do what Cher did and make up excuses to get your grade to an A, that only works in movies.

Don’t try too hard to persuade

People can tell whether or not you know what you’re actually talking about. You want to persuade someone without coming off sounding intelligent or annoying, like a nagging way. If you want someone to do something that you want you have to persuade them on why it’s a good idea. Yelling at them or nagging them to get what you want is never the answer. Take this photo for example:

 The man seems as if he’s nagging his wife about the color of a room. Instead of talking it out, he’s simply telling her what she can’t do. This is exactly what I mean by trying too hard to persuade. Before you even try to persuade the person for what you want, you need to take a few breaths and figure out what the best way it is to tell the person what you want, this is where you need to learn how to give effective persuasion.

Don’ts 

Think that you’re better at persuasion than you are

I know we tend to think we are better at certain things than other people. Trust me, I’ve been there. It’s a natural thing to do. But honestly, it’s not the best way to handle things. Believing that you are better at something than you really are to, whether it is to, make yourself feel better or make someone feel worse isn’t a great thing to do. Ignoring where your weaknesses are and believing you are okay isn’t the best way to go. Doing this can cause you to fail at honing your skills. Instead of doing this, take a long, hard look at yourself and ask “Who am I?”. Then, when you have done that, see where your skills need to be polished.

Talk too much

I know you want what you want asap but talking too much in a conversation can show the other person that you don’t care about what they have to say. This causes the person to get frustrated with you and possibly make them not want to get what you’re persuading them to get. You have to be open to what the other person says, and by doing this, you have to let them be able to speak.

To be a good effective speaker, people want to listen to others who have good character. If they don’t, it may be harder to get what you want. Begging someone for something is probably not going to get you to your goal.

My Passion for Photography

Photography.

Photography has been one of my passions for a very long time. I’ve always been taking pictures whether it was on my D.S when I was younger or my phone. The day I earned a Canon camera on the Christmas of 2014 was the best day. I finally got to take better and clearer pictures. Although this didn’t stop me from taking pictures on my other devices. I couldn’t bring the camera around with me unless I was careful with it. Bringing my new camera to school was not an option so I used my phone as a backup. While walking home and seeing different things I took pictures.

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One day I stopped by my local library, the Cos Cob library and decided to take a break from walking and do some homework in quiet. I could’ve kept walking and done my homework at home, but quiet doesn’t exist much there. During the fall, walking home, I pick up so many fall leaves to look at and take pictures of.  Therefore, before I began my work, I decided to go to the restroom and wash my hands. Inside the bathroom I saw the cutest thing hanging right on the wall. It is simple but simple is good. I love the simplicity of some photographs and I really loved how this picture turned out.

Another photo that I am proud of and I have taken on my phone is a photo of some fall flowers and fall colour changing leaves. I tried to focus my camera on the flowers in between the gate, which is also in the picture and the leaves are in the background. The photo is filled with colour and the colour of the flowers themselves are very bright.

photo (2)   Some of the photos I take describe different moods and emotions. Take this photo for example:

photo (3) In this photo you might just see leaves with rain drops in black and white. But what I see is a sad rainy day where colour doesn’t exist. When I think of rain I think of sadness, cold hands and tear drops. When I think of rain I think of hurricanes or rain storms. When lights go off there is no light, and the dark clouds covers the sun. This picture shows everything I think of when it comes to rain. But, sometimes, rain is good. After rain the sky fills with beauty like this photo:

photo (8) Here are some other photos that I have taken:

photo (14)A silhouette of two leaves and a branch above beautifully coloured fall trees.

photo (4) A tall building with mirror like windows that shows the reflection of the sky and the buildings.

photo (13) A vintage like building In Brooklyn New York.

photo (12)A picture of Tod’s Point when the sun is about to go down and the horizon of the far end of the beach.

photo (11)Another black and white photo of the reflection of the trees in the lake at Pomerance, Cos Cob CT

photo (10) A simple picture of a few branches from a still green tree.

photo (9)Flowers in fall.

photo (7)Fall leaves.

photo (5)A picture of the small waves of Tods Point beach.

photo (6)Another photo of fall leaves.