Passion project

In language arts class with Ms Taynton, we are staring a project, the passion project. We have to create something we are passionate about, which is creative and innovative. We can work alone or in a group, I chose to work in a pair with my friend Ainslee.
We wanted to create a robot that can walk or roll, we wanted it to be used as an alarm clock, maybe serve coffee and food if it is possible. But when we started to research we realized how hard it is and it would take a very long time to create it. We only have approximatively 7 weeks to finish our project and we can’t finish our robot on time, so we changed our project.
We were thinking of writing the script of a movie and film it but a movie is very long and it takes a long time to realize it, so we are going to film only the trailer. We don’t know yet what kind of movie we want to write but we are thinking about it, what we can possibly realize and what interests us the most. We will ask other people to help us film and realize the trailer so it will be easier.

Beautiful Creatures

In language arts class with Ms. Taynton, we had to choose a book to read. I chose Beautiful Creatures written by Garcia and Stohl. I read the beginning of the book, it is about a boy named Ethan, he has been dreaming for a few months about a girl that he does not know. When he comes back after the holidays, there is a new girl in the school and he immediately knows that she is the girl from the dreams. There is a strange connection between them. Ethan is trying to understand what is happening even if she is asking him to not try to understand and she wants to avoid all the strange things that happen. So far I like the book a lot, it is what I expected it to be and the story is captivating and interesting. It is the kind of stories I like to read so I am happy that I chose this book. I enjoyed reading the beginning and I think I will enjoy reading the rest of the book.

Freedom of expression

In language arts class with Ms. Taynton, we worked on the human rights and responsibilities. We learnt about the basic human rights by searching resources on Internet and doing a wikispace. I was working on the human right “freedom of expression” with Ian and Abdullah, we were sharing a page and we worked together to find information and opinions. I struggled with finding opinions of different people from different countries on Internet. I think I explained well what “freedom of expression” is and what is the principal debate about it that is still being discussed in some countries, which is “should we keep the freedom of expression or not?”. I did some research about this question and I found good and convenient opinions on both sides, now I understand why this question is very important and why it is very hard to answer it. I used to think the freedom of expression couldn’t be taken away because it is very important for me to express what I think and believe, but now I think the freedom of expression has negative sides too. Per example you can yell “bomb” in an airport because it’s your freedom of expression but it’s taking away other people’s rights, so you aren’t allowed to yell it. I thought there were no limits to the freedom of expression and most people in the world wanted to keep it. But after searching on Internet I saw that most people don’t want to keep it and there are also a lot of limits that not everyone agree with.

I think I learnt a lot about rights and it completely changed my opinions. I still think that the freedom of expression is important but I think there should be some limits that everyone should respect.

Next time I will have to research on the human rights I will try to find more personal opinions of people from all around the world.

Reflection on the thesis and the essay

In Mrs. Taynton’s class, we have an assessment task due soon and we wrote a first draft, which is an essay on culture. I came to my thesis statement by thinking about what I was going to write in my essay. I changed my thesis a couple of times to find the most appropriate one and it took my quite a long time. I found the right thesis statement after I wrote my outline. I think my essay is mostly related to my thesis statement.

I helped myself with the old blog posts that I wrote in the past 3 months. I also made connections between the texts I read. I thought it would be easier but it actually took my a long time to understand the relations between the texts I used and how to express it in my essay.

This essay made me understand a little bit more on how it feels like to be an outsider or to have problems in your culture(s). It also made me understand about culture and that culture can be many different things and everyone see culture in different ways.

To conclude I think this essay helped me to understand culture.

Reflection on the culture project

In language arts class we got an assignment in which we were supposed to convey our understanding the reflection on the culture project in the best way possible. I wrote an essay on culture with Mrs. Taynton. In my essay I talked about culture, Laurence Yep and one of his book that I read: The Serpent’s Children. I also talked about me, my culture, what did I think when I read the book and if I liked the book. I explained why Laurence Yep felt like an outsider in his own cultures. In his book, Laurence Yep described a girl and her brother who felt like outsiders in their village. I think that Laurence Yep wanted to show how he felt when he was younger in his book.

When I wrote the essay I searched about Laurence Yep, his life and how he felt when he was young. I learned a lot about being an outsider in our own culture and learning new cultures that are really different then ours. I compared Laurence Yep, his book and me. I explained why I didn’t recognize myself in the book and where I come from. Some people accept and assume their own culture in front of people from other cultures. But also a lot of people try to hide their own culture to pretend they are someone else.

I tried to write the best I can. I researched on the internet, and I tried to explain where I come from and what I think about the book and Laurence Yep’s life. I tried to write an essay but the format was more like a blog than an essay. I think that it was a successful way for me to learn because it’s easier for me to explain what i want to say in an essay than in an oral presentation. I improved in my writing style and next time I could try to make an oral presentation.

When I wrote about Laurence Yep’s life, I realized that I’m quite similar to him in various ways. Mainly when it comes feeling alienated. Now that i live in China, I can see that my French culture is quite different than Chinese culture and also to the different cultures in my school and that is also like Laurence Yep felt when he went to high school.

Reflection on the Hei Shui trip

From Sunday to Wednesday grade 9 and 10 went on a field trip to Hei Shui. We learned about buddhism and tibetan culture, and typical customs for tibetan persons, In Tibet there is a lot of different cultures unlike Chengdu. We visited a tibetan house, where culture was one of the main things that the population wanted to pass through, they respect their culture a lot and most of things are about culture in their life.

The culture influence a lot their life, in the small village the people danse all every evening they are happy to be together and it makes me happy to see that in some cultures people are having fun together. We tried to learn the dances but it was difficult. We tasted the tibetan food, it was good but spicy.

The villages are really small so I think that everybody knows everybody. I think that it’s more convivial when people know each other.In they culture, people do their best to get a good education, they work hard for their family or their village.

Their believe in spiritual development and meditation. They think that the main elements are in the following order: blue symbolizes the sky (space), white symbolizes the air (wind) , red symbolizes the fire, green symbolizes the water and yellow symbolizes the earth. They hang prayer flags of these five colors everywhere in the nature or in the village to give peace, health, strength, wisdom and harmony  to everything and everybody. They should be treated with respect and they shouldn’t be on the ground or on clothes.

We visited a monastery, we had explanation on everything that was in or around it. We also looked at monks and one showed us how to use stuffs in the monastery and what to do when you are in it. It was a really good experience.

This trip was interesting and intriguing, we learned a lot but it was still funny.

What does it mean to be an independent learner ?

In language art class with Mrs Taynton, we talked about being an independent learner. For me, being an independent learner means learning with control about ”what am I going to learn ?” , ”How am I going to process ?”, ”Why do I have to learn it ?” you have to chose a main idea before starting. To be an independent learner you have to be engaged, practice a lot, evaluate your sources by being a critical reader. You need to know when to ask for help by asking questions to the teacher when you are not sure.

For me, being an independent learner means also no sharing talking to the others students.

You also need to know how to manage the time and use the time wisely and not procrastinate because when you are an independent learner you can’t waste your time to search wrong things.

Being an independent learner is a way to know the best way for us to learn.

The main idea of being an independent learner is to discover new things by your own. Set up your own goals, and your own way to reach them.

Laurence Yep, The Serpent’s Children

In language art class we are learning about culture, and I am reading The Serpent’s Children by Laurence Yep. He is born in San Francisco’s Chinatown so his is between two culture. He has been to a Catholic high school in San Francisco where he continued his interest in chemistry and he became intrigued by writing. He writes a lot about Chinese culture and Chinese tradition. He writes fiction books for children.

Laurence Yep feels different, he said ”I was too American to fit in Chinatown, and too Chinese to fit in anywhere else.” He explain in some books how it is like to be an outsider. He expresses his feeling in The Serpent’s Children by making the main person different.

The story happened in the 19th century in a Chinese village. The villagers call Cassia and her brother ”the serpent’s children”, they mean it as an insult. But Cassia is proud of it. When famine and violence mark her family, Cassia fights for survival and for keeping her family together.