Nolan’s Journey to Frog Land – An Emoji Story

Ah yes, emojis. For Day 7 of the Student Blogging Challenge 2021, we were tasked to write a story based off of emojis. The emojis we had to write a story based off of were randomly chosen using a site called byrdseed.com. I personally find emojis creepy, but I ended up enjoying this challenge far more than I had originally anticipated.

For my story, I have chosen to use the Story Spine. This is a method used for storytelling, that we have also been inspired by Pixar, to use in class. My teacher, Ms. Maxwell, has also used this method for her Emoji Story.

Here are the emojis I’ll be using for my story: 😲🚉🐸🙈🍙🚑 🚎

Nolan’s Journey to Frog Land

Once upon a time… 😲

There was a boy named Nolan. He was passionate about many things however, his heart belonged to the species known as frogs, and enjoyed everything and anything to do with these amphibians. Nolan was very surprised to hear that a wonder such as the amusement park, Frog Land, had existed.

Every day… 🚉

Nolan would restlessly count his savings until he had enough to travel to Frog Land and back. He had wanted to take a bus to Frog Land, but there were only train stations in his area. Dismayed, Nolan was close to giving up his dreams of ever seeing Frog Land.

One day… 🐸

Through countless hours of research, Nolan realized a bus on its way to Frog Land was soon to travel through his city. After contacting the bus driver, Mr. Toad, he received approval to board on the bus for a fee.
Because of that… 🙈

Nolan rushed to Frog Rd., the area in which he was to board the bus to Frog Land. However, he froze in his steps as he noticed a very peculiar sight. It was… a monkey with its hands over its eyes? As he looked closer, he realized it was a poster board in front of a Japanese restaurant. He then realized that the employees were giving out free food samples at the front of the store.

Because of that… 🍙

He raced to the storefront and sampled some onigiri. After all, a snack for the road couldn’t hurt, right? Suddenly, almost as if the frog deities had a sense of irony, Nolan started breaking out in hives. He was seemingly allergic to something inside of the onigiri.

Because of that… 🚑

The young boy called an ambulance and he was rushed to the hospital. Luckily, the paramedics got to him in time. Unfortunately, all the money Nolan spent on his ticket to Frog Land was wasted.

Until finally… 🚎

The bus he was supposed to board on his way to Frog Land seemed to be outside of his hospital window. Mr. Toad had waited for him! Nolan was absolutely happy, and nothing could dampen his mood. He was finally on his way to Frog Land.

La Fin!

I must say, that is the most random story I have ever written. I still feel that this writing challenge was overall enjoyable, and I would recommend for others to give it a go. I found that it was somewhat difficult to connect the emojis since they were literally randomized, but in the end, my ideas sort of “clicked” together. Also, I named my story’s protagonist after my classmate, Nolan, (with permission, of course) so be sure to check out his blog!

Thanks for reading!

Related post: Fun with Photos… or should I say Teachers?

Music

Hello there! For Day 6 of the Student Blogging Challenge 2021, our class was required to write about three music related topics inside a blog post. Music is everywhere. It’s a universal and important part of culture that people around the globe can listen and connect to, including myself.

I have made a Google Forms Survey regarding the topic of music. I’m interested in listening to your music choices, so be sure to fill it out!

Also, as I am a clarinetist, I have decided to write about the instrument itself.

The clarinet is a musical instrument that is part of the woodwind family. Although there are many types of clarinets, such as the A clarinet, Alto clarinet, and Bass clarinet; I, along with most beginners, play the B-Flat clarinet.

The B-Flat clarinet is one of the most commonly used clarinets. This instrument is often used in different types of music, such as classical and concert band. However, since this is also one of the soprano clarinets, it can also be used in jazz and swing music.

There are 5 main parts of this clarinet.

At the very left side of this photo, there is the mouthpiece. At the top, is the lower part of the instrument’s body. At the bottom, is the upper part of the body. In the middle is the barrel, and at the very right is the bell.

Earlier this week, I have also compiled a playlist filled with my favourite songs, which you can find here.

Thanks for reading!

Fun with Photos… or should I say Teachers?

For “Day 4” of the Student Blogging Challenge, we were instructed to use a copyright free photo and explain how it connects to an aspect of our worldview. As shown in the visual I have made, there are several aspects of worldview. For this post, I have chosen to represent knowledge.

 

 

I decided to represent that aspect of my worldview through this portrait I have drawn of my French teacher from the previous quarter.

This drawing connects to knowledge, because whilst attending those classes, I had learned a lot about the French language and differences in culture compared to our own.

She has impacted my worldview because in the past, I never really enjoyed learning French because I faced difficulties staying engaged in the lesson. However, this teacher’s “teaching style” was much different from what I was used to, and I feel that it really changed my perspective on learning about languages and culture. Her method of teaching was more interactive as opposed to the standard “lecture and note-taking” method of teaching; for which I am grateful for. I feel that because of that, I have learned a lot more than I have in the past during French classes.

Related post: What is Dear Evan Hansen?

 

What is “Dear Evan Hansen?”

During this new quarter, our class has begun working on a Blogging Challenge. From what I understand, there are different prompts each year for each “day”. However, due to covid-19, the 2021 Blogging Challenge isn’t happening this year. Instead, our class is completing a list of the “Top 10 Prompts” from past years. If you’re interested in my past challenge submissions, feel free to check out my About Me page and Commenting Guidelines; which were both the first and second challenges. As a part of our third challenge, we were to write about a topic we’re interested in and add various forms of media to our post. 

I chose the topic of Dear Evan Hansen (DEH), an award winning musical composed by Justin Paul and Benj Pasek; and also one of my most favourite Broadway shows. As a brief summary, Evan Hansen, a high school student, was told by his therapist to write letters to himself on why it “was going to be a good day” in order to build his confidence. However, once that letter gets into the hands of Connor Murphy, a fellow student, a huge misunderstanding follows, and Evan suddenly finds himself to be in the center of it.

The show portrays themes that many people, especially teenagers, resonate with; such as anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts. Although those topics may be unsettling, I believe that many of the songs are more light hearted than some may originally think, and that the lyrics do have some important messages such as “You are not alone.”

Here is a recording of one of my favourite songs from the musical called “Sincerely Me”. My friend, Claire, actually used that title for her blog. During this song, Evan Hansen and his family friend, the insanely cool Jared Kleinman, write emails that falsify conversations between Evan Hansen and Connor Murphy. It generally isn’t a good idea to “fake” conversations the way they did however, I feel that this song is very comedic and worth listening to.

Also, to those who are interested, check out this PDF for additional information on DEH. Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

Laser Laws

“How can we test the pythagorean theorem and the law of reflection?” was a question that had confused me to no end at the start of this project. After all, how can I test something when I didn’t even know what it was? However, after vigorous weeks of studying and learning, I had finally been able to answer that question.

The pythagorean theorem is a method to calculate the side lengths of a right triangle. According to our teacher, Mr. Gross, numerous fields of study have benefitted from this knowledge. As shown in the formula above, the square numbers of the legs of a right triangle, when added together, would equal the square number of the hypotenuse. This formula could also work in reverse (c² – b²).

The law of reflection explains that light travels and reflects at the same angle, as shown in the visual I made above. The “normal” is a line perpendicular to a reflective surface. The angle of incidence is where light first hits, and the angle of reflection is the light that reflects off of a surface. However, not all reflective surfaces are flat. Concave mirrors are mirrors that “cave in” somewhat like a spoon. A convex mirror is a mirror that curves out, somewhat like the back of a spoon. Although we learned about the law of reflection during this project, we hadn’t thoroughly covered the topic of reflection when it comes to curved mirrors.

It may be perplexing to some as to how both the pythagorean theorem and the law of reflection connect to one another. For this project, we used lasers and mirrors to form right triangles; which then combined both topics that were priorly mentioned. As a part of milestone 4, we were to individually write up a lab report that had answered our driving question. My hypothesis was “With the assistance of mirrors, light sources, protractors, and various other tools; we could test the pythagorean theorem and law of reflection by creating multiple laser displays.”

For milestone 5, our task was essentially the same as the previous milestone. The only difference was that were were to work together as a group. My group members for this milestone were Claire, Brooke, and Theryn. Similar to our last milestone, we had to write a lab report. However, this time we got to physically make our laser display, which was rather exciting. After we had set up our display, Mr. Gross used a smoke machine so that we would be able to see the lasers.

We had three curricular competencies for this project, the first of which was “Questioning and predicting: Demonstrate a sustained intellectual curiousity about a scientific topic or problem of personal interest.” I feel that as a group we did well on this competency since most of us were on task throughout the duration of class time. We demonstrated our curiousity of these topics through our understanding of the pythagorean theorem and law of reflection.

The second competency was “Communicating and Representing: Represent mathematical ideas in concrete, pictorial, and symbolic forms.” As mentioned prior, we had written up multiple lab reports for this project. They had clearly and thoroughly explained the law of reflection along with the pythagorean theorem using the required scientific method of writing out a lab report. We had made sure to write the correct measurements and thoroughly check them to ensure everything was correct.

Lastly, the third competency was “Applying and innovating: Co-operatively design projects.” Seeing as our laser triangle display that we had worked together on was proficiently built with precise measurements, I would say we have done well on this competency. Although it was challenging to correctly angle the laser, we had managed it in the end.

Now that we have completed this project, I am glad to be able to say that I have an answer to our driving question. There are a variety of ways to test both the pythagorean theorem and the law of reflection, but I had done so by creating a laser display in the shape of a right triangle. This project was challenging at times however, I had still thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to being taught Scimatics again!

 

Tectonic Chances: Conquer

When we first started this project in November, I had absolutely no idea what a tectonic was. Admittedly, the concept of tectonic plates and Earth’s layers had confused me to no end at first. However, I am glad to be able to say otherwise now that we have completed our projects. Our driving question for this project was “How are thematic and mathematical elements used in game design?”

However, we did not start on our board games right away. Much like every well planned project out there, we had to begin with researching and learning about our project topic; tectonics.

Here is a mind map I made using MindNode, which explains the topics of plate tectonics. Within this mind map the topics of plate boundaries, earthquakes, volcanoes, and Earth’s layers are discussed.

 

 

 

These are the game cards I made for our board game. Each card has an action in the board game that relates to the card name’s actual purpose. For example, a fault card could destroy a continent in the board game by causing an Earthquake.

 

 

In the photo above are the curricular competencies for this project.

Evaluating: Demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of evidence.” I reached this competency by applying 10 key science concepts to my game, Tectonic Conquer. These science concepts are seen on my game cards, which are also shown above. You can read more about the science aspects in my Game Manual.

“Questioning and predicting: Demonstrate a sustained intellectual curiosity about a scientific topic or problem of personal interest.” I showed this competency by doing my best to remain on task throughout the entire duration of class. Admittedly, sometimes it was tempting to do anything other than focus on my work, but I feel that I managed to complete the task at hand at the end of the day.

“Understanding and solving: Develop, demonstrate, and apply mathematical understanding through play, inquiry, and problem solving.” I achieved this competency by calculating the probability of multiple outcomes in my game. You can also read my calculations in my Game Manual.

After striving to complete our board games with our partners for weeks on end, our class finally managed to complete each of our board games. We applied mathematical concepts to our games by using probability to determine outcomes. Probability is a common factor among many games today, from card games to video games. We also applied thematic elements by making our games based off of tectonic and science concepts.

I feel that although I could have added more to my project (I’ll never be satisfied), I am still somewhat content with the results. All the work and effort was worth it, as I had defeated my project partner, Xander, three times at three different board games some of our other classmates made. After many long weeks, I am glad to have finally completed this project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fractions of Your Time! – Summative Blog Post

The beginning of the second quarter in the school year marked the start of this new project called “Fractions of Your Time!” For this project, our driving question was “What fraction of my week is spent on screen time?” At first, I wasn’t sure what to expect when we started tracking our screen time. However, as the days went on, and our spread sheets got more detailed, it also became more predictable as to what our answers to the driving question will be.

 

MILESTONE 1: Whiteboard Fractions

Here are my answers for this Milestone.

We worked with the person sitting beside us for this activity. We had to write the following as a fraction:

– The amount of people in your group who like video games
– The number of people in the class wearing something white
– The number of people in the class with dark hair
– The amount of class time that passed
– The amount of the day that has passed
– The amount of the school year that has passed
– The amount of people in your group who helped find the answers to these questions
The competency for this Milestone was “Applying and innovating – Contribute to care for self, others, community, and world through personal or collaborative approaches.” Although my group partner and I tended not to collaborate much, we still helped each other out on the parts we found challenging, leaving me to believe we both met this competency. We both seemed to be on task throughout the work period.
MILESTONE 2: Adding Fractions Quiz
Earlier this week, we were given a quiz to complete in class. This quiz was based on some math homework that was assigned prior. Our competency for this Milestone was “Understanding and solving: Visualize to explore mathematical concepts.” I feel that I met that competency by achieving a relatively good mark on the quiz. Admittedly, I made some careless mistakes on that quiz (Monday mornings, am I right?) however, I am still pleased with my test score.
Note: I won’t be attaching my quiz results here for privacy reasons however, you can find my math homework here.
MILESTONE 3: Adding and Subtracting Fractions Quiz

After yet another day spent working on math homework, we were given a quiz on both adding and subtracting fractions. This quiz was a review of math homework we were assigned prior to the test.

MILESTONE 4: Spreadsheet For Time Tracking

This was the first draft of our Screen Time Spreadsheets. Our teacher, Mr. Gross, walked the class through how to make a spreadsheet and various graphs using Numbers on our iPads. It was fairly tricky at first, but I feel like I’ve gotten the hang of it.

 

 

MILESTONE 5: Numbers Spreadsheet With Pie Charts

Here is my revised version of my spreadsheet after a few days. I added a few more categories to my spreadsheet along with four pie charts.

 

 

 

 

 

After receiving feedback from Mr. Gross and making my final changes, this was the final copy of my Screen Time Spreadsheet.

 

 

 

 

 

MILESTONE 6: Class Presentation

This was it; the presentation and also the final Milestone for this project. I felt that this was the scariest aspect of the entire project. I’m not especially fond of public speaking, and I’m honestly the type of person who would be anxious about ordering things at restaurants. Even though I could hear my voice quivering throughout the duration of my presentation, I do feel that I did well on it. I tried to keep it short and to the point. The curricular competency for this Milestone was “Applying and innovating:  Contribute to care for self, others, community, and world through personal or collaborative approaches.” However, we were given a rubric with all the prior listed competencies as a mark for this Milestone (see below.)

 

Curricular Competencies

Here is a copy of the Curricular Competencies for this project, as explained in each Milestone, for reference.

I did my best to stay on task during class, and I collaborated with my partner for the first Milestone, leaving me to believe that I have met the first competency.

I carefully explained each graph and its purpose in my spreadsheet during my presentation. My spreadsheet does record my screen time and the average percent of a day spent on screen time, so I have met the second competency.

Lastly, I have included various pie charts in my spreadsheet, showing the percentages of “screen time” and “off screen time”, as well a few other categories. Having done so makes me applicable for the third and final competency.

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

To my surprise, after I finally completed filling out the data in my spreadsheet, 47/168 of my week (47 hours) is spent doing tasks on various devices. I find it quite overwhelming that numerous hours of my life is being spent staring at a screen. Although, I suppose it can’t be helped considering the day and age we live in. Even though looking and analyzing your screen time can be overwhelming or even embarrassing, I strongly encourage others to do so.

As we’re entering an era where technology is quite advanced, it’s important to remember that there’s more to life than what meets our eyes.

The Medium is the Message – Summative Blog Post

Our “driving question” for this project was “How does what see, hear, and read influence us?” Throughout the duration of this project, we focused a lot on media and how its message(s) affect us. By taking into account different perspectives, being aware of media’s influence, and analyzing numerous forms of media, we were able to work towards the finalization of our Deep Cove advertisements.

Also, if you haven’t already, check out my The Medium is the Message Reflection that highlights many of the early steps to this project.

What is “The Medium is the Message”?

Until last week, I had merely thought that “The Medium is the Message” was simply just the title of our project. However, our teachers explained to us that she chose this project’s name based off of Marshall McLuhan’s theory. McLuhan is a Canadian who wrote a book called “Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man”, which was published in 1964. Basically, McLuhan explains that the medium is more important than the message itself. A medium is often a form technology or an extension of ourselves. (In some cases, a medium may even be a certain teenage boy’s alternate philosophic persona. Haha, get the reference?) Our teachers explained this to us in class by reading a text called “McLuhan For Beginners,” by W. Terrence Gordon.

 

ADVERTISING PHOTO JOURNAL

Over the past few weeks, we had to take photos of advertisements that we came across in our everyday lives. From there, we were tasked to analyze the message, target audience, and advertising techniques and appeals of the advertisements. (Here is my Advertising Photo Journal.)

 

MILESTONE 5: How Does the Medium Influence the Message?

For this Milestone, we have been tasked to write about how Marshall McLuhan’s theory, “The Medium is the Message”, connects to a novel we were assigned to read in class called “The Gospel According to Larry”, by Janet Tashjian. As a brief summary, McLuhan’s theory states that the medium is always more important than the message. In the novel, Josh Swensen, a teenage boy, used his persona as “Larry” to anonymously spread awareness about anti-consumerism on his blog.

I found it quite interesting how McLuhan’s theory connected to Larry’s story. Honestly, reading this novel was likely my favourite part of this overall project. I’ve never seen a fictional work portrayed to look like it’s non-fiction until now. I highly recommend reading “A Gospel According to Larry” by Janet Tashjian if you haven’t already. (You can find my paragraph here.)

 

 

DEVELOP AND CRITIQUE

MILESTONE 4: How Do I Determine My Client’s Needs?

As part of this Milestone, our North groups have been working and compiling our work into a Numbers file. LAUNCH stands for “Look, Listen, and Learn, Ask, Understand, Navigate, Create, Highlight.” My group consisted of Sylas, Declan, Faith, Max, Noah, and myself.

Together, we were to create an advertisement for a Deep Cove business. We choose Deep Cove Music (DCM). While I was unable to participate in the vast majority of this Milestone, I was able to work with my group for the Highlight category.

This task consisted of receiving and taking notes of critique from various sources. Branden, the DCM employee we contacted regarding this Milestone gave us feedback on the following advertisements:

Branden said he liked the more colourful advertisement on the right however, he felt the wood themed advertisement fit his brand more. This inspired us to create this new version of the DCM advertisement that Mr. Hepburn, the founder and director of his own advertising company critiqued, as seen below.

During this critique session, each group in the class was given three jobs. The annotator, the speaker, and the note taker. I was given the first job to complete. The annotator basically annotates a file of your group’s advertisement as a way to “take note of” the changes we need to make. The speaker asked Mr. Hepburn questions regarding our advertisement and his business, meanwhile the note taker took notes using their iPads. 

Based on Mr. Hepburn’s critique, we were prompted to consider what information we felt was most important to include as our advertisement was a little “cramped” with words. In the end, our group decided to remove the “buy, sell, trade instruments” portion in favour of the business’ opening hours and address.

During the “Develop and Critique” stage, we also exchanged feedback and critique with our peers. We used the “20 Minute Peer Feedback Protocol” for this task. 

Here is a chart that explains how this protocol works:

LAUNCH

MILESTONE 6: How Do I Design an Advertisement to Meet a Client’s Needs?

This was the final step of our project. After what felt like countless hours of critiquing and revising our final draft, we handed in the final copy of our advertisement for DCM at last. We made sure to make our advertisement appropriate for children since DCM’s target audience is children of ages 6-18. We also tried to maintain a balance of colour and DCM’s brand.

Admittedly, I’m somewhat surprised that we actually managed to complete something in time to hand in. Our North group was working quite slowly and we had a tendency to disagree on things at times. However, I’m extremely glad that we managed it in the end.

Overall, I feel like the past few weeks was a great learning opportunity for myself and many others. Throughout our project path we applied different concepts to our learning such as team work, critiquing, perspective, different advertising techniques, and the importance of media. I find it rather bizarre that the overflow of advertisements we see today is what’s considered the “norm”. However, that’s exactly what makes it vital to be aware of media, along with its medium. Advertising is ever-present in our everyday lives and it’s important to always be mindful of how it influences us.

The Medium is the Message Reflection

This project has been an interesting learning experience for myself. We have focused a lot on media and advertising throughout this project. Since I was sick at home, I wasn’t able to contribute much during class discussions and group work. However, I do have some aspects of this project I would like to reflect on.

LAUNCH

In our launch process, our class worked on analyzing various types of media. An example of this was our first Milestone where we were tasked to analyze an advertisement titled “Welcome Home.” Analyzing this text required us to reflect on our understanding of the message and its target audience. As part of this analysis, we were also required to make a sketch using Notes to portray our emotions and thoughts while watching the advertisement. Below is a photo of my sketch. (Attached is my Welcome Home Text Analysis)

BUILDING KNOWLEDGE

This was our next step in our project. In the “Building Knowledge” portion of this project, we focused on “Logos, Ethos, and Pathos”, target audience, and various advertising techniques and appeals.

For our second Milestone, we focused on Historical Perspective; which means to look through the eyes of the people of the past. This includes taking into account and understanding their perspective, ideals, experiences, identity, and thoughts. For this Milestone, Historical Media Analysis, we were given the opportunity to choose a text or piece of media from the past and analyze the target audience along with the text’s message. My paragraph was based off of a Disneyland advertisement. (You can check out my analysis here.)

During this project stage, we were also completed an assignment called the “Commercial Dig”. For this assignment, we were to watch live television and record details about various advertisements we found. We were assigned television shows in-class while I was absent, but I hadn’t realized that until after I had completed the assignment. (Here is my Commercial Dig Chart.)

We also completed our third Milestone, the Historical Advertising Analysis. Our task was to take a historical perspective to reflect on and write about an advertisement from the past. I chose a Lego advertisement from the 1980’s. (Attached is my Historical Advertising Analysis)

CONCLUSION

Unfortunately, due to my absences, I was unable to participate in the “Develop and Critique” and “Present” portions of this project. 

Even though this project has yet to be completed, I do feel like I have learned a lot. Through our assignments, we reflected a lot on media and advertising techniques/appeals. Admittedly, my absences made me miss out on many parts of this project, but I am looking forward to working on this project more and completing it in the following weeks.

User Manual Reflection

We went through a fairly long but simple process for our User Manual assignment. At the beginning of this project, we asked ourselves “How can I creatively communicate who I am?” In other words, our task was to find a way to present ourselves to our peers in a creative manner. 

Throughout the process of working on this project, we learned a lot about our iPads, Pages, Showbie, and Basecamp. We were taught how to properly utilize our tools to help us in our learning. I know for a fact that if someone asked me a month ago to bookmark a file in Basecamp, or to hand in a project in Showbie, I definitely would not have known how to. 

I also feel that I have learned a lot about myself throughout this project. Usually, I don’t spend so much time thinking about myself. My strengths, weaknesses, and things I enjoy. It was nice to sit down and write about the person who I know best; myself. 

During the making of my Memoji Laptop, I learned quite a lot about Keynote. I originally felt reluctant to use Keynote as I felt a document or even Google Slides would work better, but I have learned that Keynote is much more than what meets the eye, as shown in this photo. The paintbrush editing tool provided numerous ways to adjust or edit objects on a slide. I’m fairly certain the app does things that Google Slides cannot match up to. From my original naivety towards Keynote, I have also learned not to underestimate things. Everything happens for a reason, and the reason why the teachers wanted us to use that app was so that we could make our Memoji Laptops with ease. 

I also learned that sometimes it’s okay not to go by script. We’re all writing our own stories, and there’s no right or wrong. When we were presenting our User Manuals, I noticed that my peers didn’t present it word-by-word. Contrary to what I had done, they highlighted what they felt was important about themselves to share. One of my fellow classmates discussed how their coach motivates them for hockey, and how they feel it reflects onto the “real word”. I, unlike them, followed along the manual and summarized my categories. It hadn’t even occurred to me the night before while I was practicing that I didn’t have to follow my User Manual line for line. From this, I have learned that sometimes it’s best to go outside of your comfort zone and be authentic to yourself instead of following a script. 

Overall, I feel that I could have done better. While I was quite proud of the outcome of my work, there’s always room for improvement. Originally when I came home from school, I didn’t really feel as if there was anything to say when my mom asked “What did you learn today at school?” And now? I have a whole list to present to her.