In today society it is hard to have new innovative and original ideas. Especially as a child or teenager you are very influenced by the surroundings making it even harder. In Language Arts class we were assigned to create our own short story using renaissance techniques and themes such as chivalry or courtly love. This was actually not the hard part, but rather finding a totally new and creative idea. I took some time to find a quite original idea and I liked the fact that my story was not a cliché idea. However, as I walked around and took a look at some other people’s plans I saw a lot of very similar and not really original ideas and it was really hard for them, but also for me to find an interesting way of presenting an original story. I saw plans about zombie-apocalypse or teenager suicide and let’s be realistic we all know that there are thousands of those stories existing.
To me this clearly shows the difference between today and back then in the renaissance. Europe just came out of the dark medieval period and ideas could grow. In that time it was easy to find new ideas for stories, but also for paintings or inventions. Today it gets harder and harder as more people explore themes. However, our mind becomes wider and wider meaning that we know and learn more giving us the possibility to do exactly the same thing as in the renaissance just more complex and complicated.
As everyone probably knows we are only a few days from our big exams (actually only one day). This means stress, studying all day and getting told from teachers that we have to do good. All of this does not really help us or me to concentrate because on the other site I am exhausted from 8 hours of school and then I still have to study until late to get a good grade. For me those few days or weeks have always been the worst in the whole school year because you cannot really enjoy anything in school or at home because you always have in the back of your head that exams are soon. No wonder that everyone and everything is under tension.
To me this whole exam thing does not seem quite logical. It is good to test students, but
maybe not ten different exams in 3 days. It should be spread more evenly and fairly for the students. It seems like the teachers just want to get it done with while the students work every night to know all the information for all different test.
Maybe I am the wrong person to talk to about this topic because I never had anything like one week full of tests, since it was always tests spread throughout the whole year, but I had the necessity to share it. It would be nice if some other people comment and also share their point of view on this topic.
Passions come and go! Sadly or actually happily I had to change my passion project for the third time. My first passion project was much too complicated to create and succeed on it. I was really passionate about, but if I would have succeeded it would have been a brake trough in science for which a lot of scientists already worked for. And let’s be realistic; that is not going to happen. My second passion project had something to do with action photography. It was a vehicle that would be able to capture and follow you in what ever action. However, something similar already existed, I was not happy with my outline and not enough passionate about it.
The Ms. Taynton started talking about the fact that we should try and solve problems. I am always annoyed with filing my school papers. Therefore, I thought it would be very nice if you can just feed in the paper and some machine in your locker files it. A the same time my classmate Ian thought of a smart locker, which would tell you what calls you have and reminds you of everything needed for class. So I thought it would be very cool if we team up and make an intelligent locker making the school life easier. At the end other people joined us and now we are 4 people trying to full fill this idea.
Once again we are starting our passion projects in high school. This year I am looking forward to investigate and learn about the water. I am aiming to find a solution for underwater breathing or artificial gill. So currently it is only possible to stay underwater over 15min by using an oxygen tank. There is already such an invention out, but it is not usea
ble. The oxygen exchange takes too long and therefore, the body cannot absorb the necessary oxygen it needs. I am eager to find a solution even though there are already many people out there who are searching for one, but maybe they think too complicated. Anyways I want to change that because I am passionate about creating, chemistry, physics and underwater world. Even if I do not achieve finding a solution I probably learned a lot and extended my knowledge in a lot of ways.
In Language Arts we are once again doing D.E.A.R. and I had to choose a novel. My chosen novel 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, written by Jules Verne, tells a story of a Professor who was supposed to hunt down a sea monster that has destroyed several ships and caused chaos. However, he the somehow ends up in an unknown submarine called the Nautilus. He discovers the depths of the ocean, but the he finds that there is no escape from the Nautilus.
So far I really enjoyed the book. I like the use of language the author is using, making the story seem old and mysterious, for example “You and your companions will not, perhaps, have so much to complain of in the chance which has bound you to my fate”. I was really excited to see what the sea monster was and was really surprised when it turned out be a Submarine. I probably also find this book interesting because it is all around water and the ocean. However, sometimes it is hard to understand the text because it is quite complicated language and therefore I always have to look in the context to find the meaning of certain words.
Even though I read that the professor and his servant are onboard the Nautilus, I did not understand how they got there. Hopefully I will find that out soon.
I am really excited to read what animals and things they will discover in 20,000 Leagues under the Sea and what the professor will do to escape his prison. I am wondering what and when something will happen like on the front cover.
Dying or living that is the question?
This was the question for me and my group members for this unit in Language Arts. We studied the human rights and decided on which right we would like to research further on and create a Wikispace about it. Since I chose the right to die and to learn more about it I gained a lot of knowledge about pain, suicide and assisted suicide.
Jack and Ana who were also interest in this topic explored along with me how physical and mental pain can make people chose death over life. I understood why it was really controversial in the 1900 to suicide or make assisted suicide. I was interesting to read hoe sluicing was a sin in Europe because the Catholic Church was very effective at that time. Also gathering information about assisted suicide (a doctor helps a patient to die) opened my eyes to this topic. Because it was a difficult topic, I learned how to research effectively. Apart from learning new knowledge I also found out that moving pictures, called gifs make the page look more interesting and how to use them.
However, I struggled with displaying the information effectively and in a way that nobody would feel offended. Even though we had problems to make the information look interesting and to hook the reader, I am actually really proud on our page because we displayed and analyzed the information well. We used Gifs so there is some action on our page and we added question on the bottom to engage the reader and make him start a discussion.
As I already said I think our page layout is really successful, but we also gathered good and effective information from research to give background information and different points of view. In my opinion I think Sophie’s and Hadiya’s Wkispaces looked nice and contained good information.
Improvement for the Next Time:
I think we have to evaluate and analyze our sources more. This brings up more discussions from the reader because they can disagree with us.
The last week or two we were creating an annotated bibliography about a chosen right from the UN declaration of human rights. Because I already talked about my annotated bibliography in my last blog posts I will introduce my new topic which we are doing I Language Arts. So we are now creating a portfolio about a right we think should be supported or should be discussed. I chose the right to die.
I think this is going to a really interesting unit involving a lot of active debates, to which I am really looking forward to. I think the topic “the right to die” should be discussed because it is a really interesting topic which has pros and cons. For some it is controversial and for some it is the addition to a happy life. Of course it depends on the nationality and belief, but in my opinion it should actually be enforced. It does not make sense to live in pain until you die or live with a mental illness, which makes you think you think that there is not purpose in live. However, it should e proven that you have the “right” to die because I read articles about Japan that people bosses would kill themselves if their business bankrupts.
This is a huge interesting topic which has defiantly the right to be discussed and thought through. I am looking forward to taking a deeper look into this topic and debate with my classmates.
This unit we are taking a look at the UN Declaration of Human Rights. We will learn how to create an annotated bibliography, write news paper articles and debate.
At the moment we are writing an annotated bibliography about one human right that we wanted to make further investigations on. I chose article 11, which states “Right to the presumption of innocence”. Therefore I will be looking at justice, innocence and guiltiness. In fact a lot of my classmates also chose this article because we were actually having a little in official debate on it. So I am really looking forward to discuss more about this topic but with more knowledge gathered by the bibliography. Also I hope that we will debate on this topic because a lot of people will show a lot of interest and it will be a huge discussion in class.
However, I already learned quite a lot about the UN declaration about human rights since I was studying it in Germany and last year in humanities. Additionally, as the millions of refugees are coming to Europe and especially Germany it is really connected to our topic because even if those people are searching refuges they still have the right to the Human rights.
I am really looking forward to the debate to argue with other people, but also I am really interested in what countries the declaration of human rights is actually enforced or if here is any country that even has all of them.
In Language Arts we just finished our big unit about culture. Since culture is an enormous topic and has a lot of subtopics I learned and discovered a lot about it. I really concentrat ed on the difficulties people have to overcome if they live in another country. I feel a bit connected with this challenge since I live in China for several years even if I originally come from Germany. Therefore, it is a big cultural difference even if it is not such a big challenge because I do not live hear my whole life and I am not tide to learning the language. Additionally, I really concentrated on immigrants this unit and currently in Germany, as probably everybody knows, a lot of refugees are searching help in Germany. Those people probably experiencing the same problem as I wrote about in my essay. Lastly, had a lot of friends that were children of immigrants and they shared their feelings and challenge, so I could imagine the experience of being an outsider.
Of course this unit also extended my knowledge in terms of having a better perspective about culture or having a deeper view. As I read the book The Serpent’s Children by Lawrence Yep, it caught me or it hooked me and I couldn’t stop reading. I enjoyed it a lot because I felt in some way connected to the characters. However in the book Cassia and Foxfire had bad experience with being an outsider, I had actually a lot of good ones. Especially when I read about how authors display their feelings in their literature it gave me an image of the life of an immigrant. At the end we had to find a thesis statement for our end-of-unit essay and I had to gather all the information I have collected and find connections between them. This actually made me realize how big culture is.
However, I also overcame some small challenges when I had to write my essay. First of all, my whole thesis statement was about a challenge: Hovering between two cultures. Therefore, I was actually proving the problems immigrants had to face. One of my challenges was to go through my gathered information with an open mind since I already had an idea about writing my thesis statement.
In Language Arts we are writing an essay as a final task for the current topic culture. The past few weeks we were gathering information from literature and we had to read one novel, two short stories and six poems. From those texts we had to find a thesis statement. However as easy as it sounds this was actually the first time that it took me quite a while to come up with a thesis. Normally in the first ten minutes I got my thesis and I could start writing my essay.
In fact, we did another project already according to the novel we read and on which I already reflected on. This already gave me an idea what I wanted to write my essay on. However, we had to find our thesis with a open mind by putting all the information we had in one place and find connections between them. It was quite hard for me to go through my information open minded because I couldn’t let go of my idea from the beginning and not surprisingly my thesis was very similar to my starting idea.
This essay really makes me think about what immigrants feel like since my thesis statement is exploring how immigrants hover between two cultures. Even though I live in two countries and I experience a few different cultures, it is probably for immigrants who live the rest of their life in another country it is way more extreme. Especially for people who were children of immigrants think they belong to the new culture, but their parents tell them they belong to their old culture.
In conclusion this topic made me really think about culture in many different ways, especially looking at the feelings of immigrants.