Gaius Cassius, the Paper Cutout

This week, we have started to learn about Julius Caesar, the Shakespeare play. And in doing that, we made body biographies on some of the cast. We did ours on Gaius Cassius.

A body biography is something where you research a person, trace someone, make symbols on the body that represent the person, and cut it out.

I’m going to tell you why we put everything, well, everywhere. Lets start with his brain.

When Gaius Cassius was young, he studied philosophy in Rhodes. So to represent that, we placed glasses, books and telescopes in his brain. But this was long before he became a senator and warrior. Which leads me to our next point.

Gaius Cassius was a senator, governor, tribune of the plebs. But he had an army that conquered many a mile. They, along with his allies including Marcus Brutus traveled far and wide. Speaking of Brutus, let’s move on to the conspiracy.

Cassius was one of the leaders in the conspiracy to kill Julius Caesar. But he didn’t do the dirty work, oh no. He urged them on, feeding them ideas to kill Caesar. Brutus was the one to kill him. Did you know that Brutus and Cassius were half-brothers? Neither did I. Family is complicated. Which takes us to our next point.

In 60 BCE, Gaius Cassius had a baby boy with his wife, Junia Tertia. Junia Tertia was the daughter of Servilia, who was also the mother of Marcus Brutus. That’s how Cassius and Brutus are related.




Gaius Cassius was a very outspoken and argumentative person. This made him a great public speaker. We put the megaphone on there to represent his loud voice.



Cassius traveled far and wide, as I mentioned before, conquering many lands. We placed the roads to represent all the places he had travelled.




While in the senate, Cassius and Lentulus Spinther issued a coin called the Denarius, for the military mint.




And last, but definitely not least, in 48 BCE, Cassius rode to Sicilia. While there he famously burnt a large part of Caesar’s navy. We put the burning boat on the foot because he traveled far to complete this feat!


I hope you learned a lot from this. I sure did!

Growth mindset

No. Never. I can’t. I failed. These are words of a fixed mindset.
Will. Try. I can’t, yet. I failed, but I will try again. These are growth mindset words.

We have been learning about growth mindset since the beginning of the school year. Growth mindset is a state of mind where you are willing to try new things, to fail and try again. To learn, you need this mindset. The other mindset we learned about was the fixed mindset. In fixed mindset, you feel stuck, not wanting to try. But you can have both. Maybe you have a fixed mindset on your ability to do math, but you are an emerging artist. You just have to be able to recognize it.

One of the assignments we did was to make a chart of things we had growth mindsets in, and things we had fixed mindsets in. Then we wrote a paragraph explaining one of the fixed mindsets, and how we could change it to a growth.

‘One thing that I have a fixed mindset in is my clumsiness. I either have terrible luck or the world is out to get me. I have sprained my wrist, two fingers and my ankle. I fractured my growth plate, ripped my leg open and bruised my muscle. On Saturday I almost gave myself a concussion. Plus all my non severe ones. My mom says it’s because I don’t have great control over my limbs, and so because I’m so gangly, I hurt myself a lot. That’s probably true, but I don’t know how I can fix that. That’s my fixed mindset.-Alivia W’

Another assignment was to create a ‘growth mindset selfie’. Each one of us created a goal. And, of course, it had to be approved. So each time you went up, you would wait 10 minutes to get critiqued, and most often sent back with feedback. I didn’t get approved until the second day.

Once they were approved, we had to find a selfie to put the quote on. I had one from the beginning of the year that I used. I ended up being the first one approved. But the thing was, after they were approved, THEY WENT ON THE WALL. And I don’t think they’re coming down for a while. So now my face is on the wall. I guess it’s not so bad, but still. It’s my face.

I learned a lot about myself in this unit. I never realized what I had a fixed mindset in before. Now I can improve it!

2016, A Year in Review

Google did a Year in Review video. So I’m gonna convince you to go watch it.

2016. A year of tragedy, craziness, and love. That’s what I think Google is trying to tell you as you watch the video. But there are a few thing that I didn’t understand in there.

One thing I didn’t recognize was the Free Hugs. In the video, this person stood in front of the police, held up peace signs, and just walked around wearing the shirt.


So I researched it. The Free Hugs Campaign is a thing about ‘random act of kindness. People went to public places and offered free hugs to anyone. This was a movement started by Juan Mann in Sydney, Australia. He wasn’t feeling good, then a stranger came up to him and gave him a hug. This made him feel so much better that he started the campaign. It was made famous when the band Sick Puppies helped him make a music video. It went viral, and that’s how this started.

One thing that surprised me for being in the video was some famous celebrities who had died. This included David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Gene Wilder, and a few others.


I was surprised because I would have thought that they would have added other people who had passed, including Leonard Cohen and Carrie Fisher.


But I guess that is because they weren’t searched as much as the others.

If I were to do one of these videos, I would have added a few more things that were more important to me. For example, a lot of these things were very American. I might have put some more important Canadian events, such as the Snow in Vancouver,


Or how PLP became a Apple Distinguished Program. Other than that, I would keep it pretty much the same, cause it’s so cool.

I hope I have convinced you to watch the video! I think you will like it!

A Wreck at the Exhibition!

Imagine this; You have an exhibition scheduled for a bit over week from today, and the teacher has just told you your topic. And what do you do? The only reasonable thing to do. Take all your free time to work on it, and start to stress out.

This was our class a few weeks ago.

A little over a month ago, our grade 8 class and 3 teachers headed down across the boarder to Oregon, USA. We went down there to learn about the coast, and we didn’t know it, but to get some inspiration for our exhibition. I learned a great deal about Oregon’s coastal life while we were down there. One thing that intrigued me was a shipwreck exhibit at an aquarium we visited.


So after we got back, we had a week to catch up on some work we had been doing down there. It wasn’t till we had 10 days before the exhibition that our teachers told us about our topic.

Our teacher sent out a new iTunes U course that told us our topic; the environment! We then made big mind maps about different parts of the environment. From there, we found three ideas we were interested in and made questions. My first drafts were;

1. Are aquariums beneficial to endangered species?
2. What can we do if the cities below sea level start to flood because of the melting ice caps?
3. Are reefs built on man made wreckages bad for the environment?

I sent them in, but the teacher told me to localize more. I also had to prove that there were artificial reefs in BC. So I did a quick google search and found one. Here are my second drafts;

1. Can aquariums and/or Zoos help endangered animals stay alive?
2. What can we do if Deep Cove starts to flood because of the melting ice caps?
3. Are reefs built on shipwrecks wreckages bad for the environment?

Ms. Willemse seemed to really like the shipwreck idea, so she told me to focus in it. Here’s my third draft;

Should we take out shipwrecks/underwater structures if there is already marine life living on it?

That didn’t cut it either. I got sent back what I pretty much used for my project;

Should older shipwrecks be removed if marine life has already begun life on it?

So I was the first one approved! I started my research, but didn’t have much time cause the bell rung for the end of the day.

Once we had got our ideas, we had to decide what we were gonna do for our presentation. We wrote that down, with what I would need to learn. Then the class had a critiquing gallery. The grade 11s also critiqued our ideas.

Next class, we planned out our schedule for the week. I made sure I planned for time to get everything I needed done, with extra just in case I needed it.

I spent the next few days learning everything I could about shipwreck habitats. Did you know that as soon as a ship sinks, it starts to become a habitat! I also had to have something to present at the exhibition. So I decided to make a model of a shipwreck habitat.


I made the ship out of a cardboard box I had lying around. Our group had an idea to make a ship out of tables, but that didn’t work.

Oh yeah, the groups. I should explain that.
Okay, so, we all couldn’t just make the room look however we wanted. We divided the room into 4 sections, with a group for each corner. Each group had approx. 5 people with similar topics. Our groups topics didn’t match overly well, but I was the DRI, so I had to figure it out. A DRI, or directly responsible individual, is responsible for the the entire group. We get blamed for any failure or success of anything to do with our groups project. Each corner had one.

Our groups sort-of ‘theme’ was invasive species. We divided the group into two parts. One table was going to be oceanic stuff, and the other land stuff. Robin, Luca, and Owen were on the land table, while Austin, Kiefer and I were on the ocean table. We were gonna have mine on a ship made of tables, but there weren’t enough tables. So we got plants for the land table. That was covered in a burlap sac. But the ocean Table was a bit more complicated. We covered the windows and wall in paper fish. Then we got green streamers. I might have gone a bit overboard with those. The table was had blue paper on it, so I attached streamers to the edges. I put it between the fish on the walls. And hung it from the ceiling. And draped it over one of my friends. We also had to cover the computer in blue paper (and streamers).

Okay, back to the ship making. The marine life is made of polymer clay. I also made a steering wheel, because of the ship table. That didn’t turn out, so I just held it during the exhibition.


On the day of the exhibition, I was all nerves. There was so much we still had to do. The grade 9s and 11s had to get all there stuff out of the room. I also had a costume to wear, and my science project group was going to present first. No one came when we were out there, but still.

At the exhibition, everyone was coming and going so much I sometimes had to run 3 stations. We pretty much told them about our project, answered questions, and the next people came. I got super hungry too, and there was no food. But it was a great experience. I learned of new people skills, and time management. It was fun!