My Sanctuary

I’d watch the sunset just sitting their on the edge of the rock that was overlooking the field and the playground as the sun shifted colors. What once was a bright blue sky with white marshmallow clouds, turned into pink cotton candy clouds of red and orange mixed into one each other. It was as if someone was on the other side of the sky, taking a brush and mixing different warm colors together, to create a painting for others to see, for others to capture with their own eyes. Moment’s like these were the moments that I lived for. These were the days where my mom would call me downstairs to look at the sky, as I’d race down the stairs to look up at the beauty the artist had created for me to see.

Looking up at the sky gave me a type of peaceful feeling. a  feeling whereas I internally became more and more relaxed just by even looking up at the sky. This feeling drew away my worries, my fears, the things that were making me upset. The sunset was full of serenity; and it lifted me up when I was feeling down. It reminded me that life is full of colors. Full of different experiences, not just the good , but sometimes the bad. Although, we shouldn’t worry, because every single day we have a new painting created for ourselves. A new painting filled with new goals, different values, different things that makes us original from everyone else. This painting reflects who we are as people and everyone looks at the sunsets differently in a way.

When I look at sunsets I think of the things that I look forward to every single day. The things I like about school and the things that make me excited just to even do in my classes. When I look at sunsets I completely block out all of the negatives. The things that I don’t look forward to when it comes to school, or the things that that I’m thinking about too much and probably shouldn’t be. As human beings, it is human nature to overthink and allow the negativity to draw out all of the positives in your life and all of the happiness. Although, each and every one of us has something that takes us away from that overthinking, from those negatives. To me, one of them is the sunset. To others, it may be taking long walks to clear your mind, or sometimes people may even organize everything just to simply be able to think straight.


Some people may look up at sunsets and think about a specific memory they have of someone, or even think of someone who loves the color pink. We all are looking at the same sunset but one sunset can remind each and every one of us of different memories. We don’t all have to be thinking about the positives and the good things that makes us happy in school. Instead, you can be looking at the sunset and thinking of your family or of someone who you really really love but could never tell them.

Our thoughts are like sunsets; filled with so much color and emotion but they could never be written down. We think so much about how we feel about different things or other people, but we never really feel the need to write them down. Usually people feel silly writing down what they feel. Although, in my sanctuaries, whether it is outside in my front yard or the park near my house, {Bible st. Park} I usually like to write down what I’m thinking. Whether it is a journal entry, a poem or even a bunch of random things that I heard people say or quotes that I’ve seen online, I’ll write them all down. Writing things down gives me a sense of safety, a sense of security. My journals and my writing are the closest things that I have.

I mean, if we were talking about a person here, I’d mention my sister, because well, she and I are very close. Even just being with her and hanging out with her is something that I love but holding onto someone for so long, for them to be your sanctuary probably isn’t the best thing for you and that other person. I remember, a while ago, someone told me that I was their medicine. That I apparently solved all their problems and without me they would be lost. To them, for some time, I was their sanctuary. Now they have moved on and found a different place, or more realistically,  a different thing to help them with the negativeness that was going on in their lives.

Unlike this person, who instead used people and objects to feel safe and loved, my sanctuary is not only the sunsets in the sky and the writing in my journals but it’s that lovely feeling of sitting outside and being able to feel the earth beneath you. To just be able to sit outside and allow yourself to lay on the grass not worrying about how many mosquitoes might bite you or whether or not your clothes will get dirt on them. My sanctuary is to just be able to sit outside and open up The Clearing by: Heather Davis and get consumed by this other world written on these soft felt pages. My sanctuary is being able to sit outside on the edge of the rock overlooking the field and the playground and listen to some of my favorite songs on one of my spotify playlists. Songs that reminded me of the good memories and the things I looked forward to in the day. Things like writing new poems and taking more walks. Or rather, things like the sunsets and the pink cotton candy clouds floating over my head.


Designing Labs for Ethical Sustainability

“Considering your initial design and what you see of the intro labs, what is the importance of pre-planning  especially when we connect our design to ethical sustainability?” 

In an article named Ethical Aspects of Sustainability by Bruce Jennings, he once said that; “a sustainable society lives within the carrying capacity of its natural and social system. It has a system of rules and incentives that promote replenishing and limit-depletion and pollution. A sustainable society builds upon the commitment of it’s members to conform to these rules voluntarily, and it enforces them when necessary.”
When it comes to pre-planning, as a group in STEM, we need to acknowledge that creating the ethical aspects of sustainability comes within a certain system of rules. As a group we must be aware and well known that a sustainable society builds up more and more with commitment of members through the communication of members and the teamwork. First before anything else you must be able to have an effective amount teamwork skills and listening to other peoples ideas. When we were first introduced to our project we were asked to choose a partner we wanted to work with and a vegetable or fruit that we were interested in growing. Later on Mr. Walach and Mr. Schlosser, told the whole class that they were going to create groups of four with your partner that you had chosen. This led to a bit of worrisome and fear to a lot of people because this meant that you would have to get out of your comfort zone and talk to different people. Which can sometimes be difficult to others. But, as the project progresses, learning how to have effective communication and a strong sense of teamwork is important when trying to plan and create the best work possible. Therefore I believe, that if you want to create a sustainable aeroponic system before anything else you must find that line of communication and teamwork to make sure that your experiment will be as ethically sustainable as you had wanted it to be.

After we were introduced to this project of creating an ‘automatic aeroponic system’we were told to begin researching what we wanted to grow and the materials that we needed for the experiment. We put our research in a shared google document so that we had a safe place to store our notes and go back to it when we needed it. This past couple of weeks of school my group and I have done an extensive amount of planning, we created many goals for ourselves although a goal without a plan is simply a wish. As Stephen Keague once said, “Proper planning and preparation is important because it prevents poor performance.” Since our project is about creating an ethical and sustainable environment for the fruits and vegetables that we are growing, we must be fully aware and open minded with our planning.

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As Frank Zappa once said; “A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open.” Take studying for example, if you don’t study for a test and simply go into it and wing it, your outcome may be not what you had hoped. Studying is like planning and also like a parachute. In relation to our STEM project, If you’re not open minded you won’t have the motivation and determination to plan for something that is important to you. Your outcome might not be as efficient as you had imagined, and your Aeroponic System may not be as sustainable. Therefore, you must need to keep an open mind, put in your best income, create goals and plan for yourself, have an awakened spirit, create good communication, value teamwork and hope for the best outcome.

Ethical Responsibility


Ethical Decisions is the act of making refers to the process of evaluating and choosing among alternatives in a manner consistent with ethical principles. In making ethical decisions, it is necessary to perceive and eliminate unethical options and select the best ethical alternative. In relation to leaders making ethical decisions, they may begin to face some challenges. Some challenges that leaders may face in making ethical decisions, is that a leader may want to do what is best for himself but also what is best for his people. This can cause difficulty when you want to stay true to your own values but also make the right choices for your community. This also comes in difficulty if the leader has different moral dilemmas. A moral dilemma is a situation in which there is a choice to be made between two options, in a leader’s case, it is between doing the right for yourself for the others other you. Although, as a leader you have a moral set of values that you must achieve to stay that type of leader. A leader is a person who leads or commands a group, organization or country. In Andrea Walker – Leidy’s words leadership is; “the ability to see a problem and be the solution. So many people are willing to talk about problems or even empathize, but not many can see the problem as a challenge and want to drive toward it. That is what causes people to want to follow, and a true leader has a following.”

Leaders regularly face challenges when it comes to trying to make the ‘right’ decision. Age, culture, and the way someone grew up all came into play when leaders or simply everyday people are trying to make what they believe is the ‘right’ decision from the ‘wrong’. A leader may treat one person differently to another due to the gaps in their age. A leader may also make different decisions, what they believe is the right decision to people who are used to a different culture. If a group of adults got together from Brazil to go to church and have a religious night out the leader may change the way they lead and go with them because that is what many people value in Brazil. The leader would have to make what they believe is the right decision at that moment, to either go with them to respect the culture and their religion or back down and say no.

Every single person has different life values and it’s important to know what personal values we want to achieve in our lives whether it is in relation to education, work, or simply ourselves and other people. We all want to be able to work more on our strengths but also our weaknesses. Each and every one of us want different things. We all want to have freedom and flexibility, to make and set priorities for ourselves, and to decide values for ourselves that we believe is important. Every leader has their own set values, values for themselves and sometimes for others. Every leader wants to be brave, to have the strength, and to maybe even be a hero to others. But every leader has a different strength and weakness in making decisions, specifically ethical decisions. For example, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,

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she values children and their learning experience at school. She has the urge to make sure that teachers are building each and every child as an ideal citizen of the country through instilling ethics and values into their minds and hearts. She believes that; “it is your teacher’s duty to impart the knowledge of good and bad, justice and injustice, and brotherhood to students and thus build such a generation which would be fit for leading the country towards greater prosperity.” The prime minister of Bangladesh also mentioned that she would call upon all to take initiatives so that Bangladesh could be declared an illiteracy-free country soon. The literacy rate in Bangladesh is about 61.5% for all and 64.6% for male. The global literacy rate for all people aged 15 and above is 86.3%. While the global literacy rate for men is 90.0% and for females it’s 82.7%. As the Prime Minister of Bangladesh in 2009, Sheikh Hasina goals and values was to make sure every teacher was teaching to their fullest and making sure each and every child had the best and right education. As the leader of a country, Sheikh Hasina believed that her views and her decisions were the right ones. Not only was she so focused on what best for herself but also what’s best to empower the people that are looking up to her, hoping she’ll make the best and right decisions.

To the prime minister of Bangladesh, she had a passion for education and making sure that each child is improving in their education. Not only did she remain true to her own values, she still made sure to make the right choices for her community. As a leader, that is how she as a prime minister worked and that’s how she dealt with solving decisions and making choices. Other leaders, may have a more difficult time making decisions, preferably the ‘right’ decision. They’re too involved in themselves and only want what they believe is the best for them and other people without actually listening to other people. Good leaders are the ones that try to face and solve ethical decisions making sure that not only they are true to their own values but others are in agreement with those decisions. Good leaders are the ones that listen to others and give the people the freedom and flexibility to be who they want to be, learn what they want, create what they want and speak what they want. A good team leader is a leader that shows respect and love to all.

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A leader in relation with followers understands that people differ and are all different. Each and every person has different beliefs, religions, views, and perspectives. A leader who manages followers and strengths and weaknesses are able to be humble with progress. Lastly, a leader who gives credit to others can do what it takes to get the job done without damaging others and their views. Leaders all come in different types, each and every one of us is different, and we all have different values. Whether that is our education like the prime minister of Bangladesh idolized in children or our family. We all have different values that affect the way we make our own ethical decisions.

The Cellar ~ Natasha Preston

When I picked up this book at the library I didn’t know what to expect. I had known who the author Natasha Preston was and actually read another one of her books, ‘Silence’, on Wattpad and I didn’t think I’d find myself reading another one of her novels. I guess I thought wrong.


The Cellar by Natasha Preston is about a girl named Summer Robinson who is kidnapped by a man that keeps her and three other women trapped in a cellar. Seems like a pretty basic novel topic. Although, the power of the three point of views; Summer’s, Lewis’s, and Clover’s reveals different tones of voices and emotions that are laid out in vivid imagery. In Summer’s POV’s she explains her heart-throbbing want to escape and or get out of the man’s house. She repeatedly mentions that if she didn’t have the hope of getting out, and or Lewis coming to save her, she wouldn’t have minded if Colin had killed her or not. That is how desperate Summer had been trapped, 7 months, in the cellar.


In Lewis’s POV’s he explains how much he severely wants to see Summer and hopes that she is still alive rather than dead. He spends most of his days getting no sleep and having search groups for Summer.


In Clover’s POV’s he explains how much he loves his ‘little flowers’ and believes that his family is much better than any other family out there, especially Summer’s that was currently looking for her. In his POV he mentions a lot how he is ‘in control’ and won’t disappoint his mother. Psychologically, I’m sure that Colin had been brainwashed into thinking that what he was doing was okay because it really wasn’t.


Besides the three POV’s, this novel spoke to me on a spiritual level. I felt as if I had a strong connection to Summer as she was struggling to survive, trapped in the cellar. As she was trapped she told herself over and over again she wasn’t going to become ‘Lily’ and she wasn’t going to become brainwashed like Rose. She thought about how strong she was and how she was going to get through it because she knew she would. Like Summer, in sticky situations, I think about the positive rather than the negative. Sometimes the more you begin to think about something to more you begin to believe it. So as Summer went through her days, she began thinking more and more about having hope and waiting for the day where Lewis comes to save her.


Another character that I strongly connected to was Lewis. As Lewis had heard that Summer was missing he did nothing but try to find her and prayed that he would find her. He loved her with all his heart and would do anything to get her back. Like Lewis, everyone has someone that they feel strongly about and cares about with all their hearts. If something had happened to my little sister whether she was in the same situation as Summer or was being bullied in middle school (when the time comes) I would be there for her for every one of her problems and every one of her situations. She has always been there for me when I was sick or when I have had a bad day and she talks things through with me like she is my older sister, although she is six years younger than me. If it ever comes down to her being faced with something challenging and her needing help I will be there for her every step of the way, just like Lewis had been there for Summer.


Besides the character connections, this novel this tugged on my emotions like a Tug O’ War game, moving one way and another way, causing me to feel different types of feelings. As each character slowly progressed, some kept alive and some killed, I got to know each and every character and feel their emotions as if they were right in front of me, with me even. Although this novel is so surreal it is one that makes you wonder a lot especially towards Colin, one of the main characters. After finishing The Cellar I still don’t know as to why Colin had been the way he had been. He fell in love with the girls he kidnapped, named them after flowers, and then abused them when he had lost his control. Although he was twisted minded and very scary at times when he felt the need to murder prostitutes in the cellar as the other girls watched, reading his thoughts and getting to know more about him through different hints became fascinating. As much as the story was about Summer being kidnapped that is not the main purpose of the story. I believe that the main purpose was to uncover how Colin’s mother had a huge affect on his life before and after her death. Colin regularly went to visit his mother’s grave, collected flowers because she once said that they’re ‘the purest form of nature’ and murdered prostitutes because his mother had walked in on her husband cheating on her with a hooker.


As I read this novel I had become more and more in love with Natasha Preston’s writing. The first book I had read of hers was Silence. She had originally written it on a social media reading platform called Wattpad and later created it into a novel. As I read Silence, a novel about a girl named Oakley Farrell who had been silent since she was five years old, I read it quickly in about a week. Silence had about 206 pages, so it wasn’t very difficult to read. I originally, myself, began writing my poetry on Wattpad and had seen her book Silence in the featured section of the website. I am glad that I took the time to read her story because if I hadn’t I probably wouldn’t have picked up this book, The Cellar and decide to read it. I admire Natasha Preston not only for her writing but for making me believe that you can achieve anything as long as you put your mind to it. She never thought, as a writer, that her novel would become so big and or she would become a well-known author. She has given me the confidence and the strength to reach for my goals and to gradually become a better writer.