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Memories Are Everything (Make Your Mark: FVHS)

High school is an extremely significant chapter in your life which you will never forget. You’ll never forget the school, but how will the school not forget you?

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BRAWL

So for one of my novels I read in class, as an analysis we split ourselves into groups and answered questions that students made, and we would debate/ discuss the questions. We would present our group’s take on the question to the class and also respond to our opponents’ take on the question.

vrawl

The BRAWL was both fun to participate in and watch as well. Some debates got extremely heated with about 8 students arguing over one question. It was almost like watching a UFC fight. There was so much heated tension and it was all so interesting to watch. It showed me how being more involved as a class makes it more interesting for everyone as a whole. I was fortunate to have a weird, loud class because for activities like this we’re more comfortable with speaking in front of the class and getting involved which enhances the learning experience. Rather then the teacher asking a question and the entire class waits for him or her to answer it.

For this particular assignment, I took part in answering some of the questions and also represented my team in BOTH BRAWLS. My group didn’t specifically assign certain questions to each other. We all got on the same google doc and just worked on the question. We edited each other’s question and it seem to work out for us. When I went up to BRAWL, I did my best to be understandable and to get my point across. I wanted to not drift from the question but answer it effectively with concrete examples. I did my best to give examples and I learned that examples help your peers relate to what you’re saying and can help them better understand your argument.

Overall, the BRAWL was a great experience because I got to observe my peers BRAWL and learn from them. Being up there and BRAWL-ing is a lot of pressure and you have to think quick. Whenever the other team came up with something, I would have to think of a way to deliver something else better than them and I was able to benefit from having experience in situations where I’m under pressure. It was also quite entertaining and engaging as well.

Blog is Life

Since middle school I was cursed with having to start to write in more of a sophisticated and proper manner. It came along with the advanced English class. Something called MLA Format was introduced to me. Me trying to type MLA Format based off of a one page instructions outline my English teacher handed to me, was like a fish breathing out of water. Nothing made my head hurt more than having to write my research paper in MLA.

paper work

“You will write the paper specifically in Times New Roman in 12 pt. font. You entire report will be double spaced so your 20 page report is really just ten.”

Thanks?

“On the top right you will head the report with your full name, then under it my name, then the course you are taking, then the date which you wrote the paper. Each page will require numbering with your last name next to the page number. You will have a works cited page in which you’ll cite each and every single one of your resources. There is a different format of citing for different sources e.g. books, internet, encyclopedia, etc.”

While my teacher was rushing through his PowerPoint and spitting out all these rules of  MLA format the gears in my brains were running at top speed. I was trying to keep up with all the rules to format the entire- my brain shut off… And I thought the 10 commandments alone were hard to remember. Try writing in MLA Format. Seems as if you can write a novel just on how to cite your resources. Anyways, those were the horrors of 8th grade and Freshman year.

Going into 10th grade I only expected for the English class to be the same old routine but possibly even harder which I couldn’t imagine.

Instead my teacher said, “Welcome. In my class we write blog posts.” -I almost did a double take while keeling over.

And that’s how I basically got started on blogging. I still consider myself new to this blogging community. I’ve only been blogging for about 7 months now with about one blog per week. It’s been a fun ride with many unique twists and turns and I’ve taken a lot from the entire experience. My teacher has our class make our own blog so this blog is essentially my child. My creation. I found it very interesting that instead of pulling out literature books and reading story after story, or studying 50 vocab words per week, my teacher allowed us to create blogs. We didn’t write essays but rather we wrote articles and created writing in which we expressed our own personality and quality. We joined the global conversation and integrated ourselves with the world. This is not your traditional English class. This is not reading and answering questions. This is not MLA format. This is not hundreds of flash cards inked with vocabulary.

This is innovation.

One of the things I could appreciate the most that my teacher assigned us were theses things called “Tune It Up Tuesdays.” Basically each week he would discuss one aspect of writing and we would focus, integrate, and improve that aspect into our weekly blog post. I found it extremely interesting and helpful. For example, he would have us focus on starting your blog and hooking your audience in with a story, or practicing sentence variety and teaching us how short sentences can be very effective, or using metaphors and similes to make memorable comparisons. He would show us how even the smallest things like quotations and ellipses and em dashes can cause an affect on our readers and go a long way in making our writing better.

If you didn’t notice, I integrated all of the Tune It Up Tuesday topics that I just mentioned that I learned throughout the school year.

This really opened my eyes to creative writing. It is an art. Throughout the year my teacher really broke down multiple aspects of writing and I began to realize there is so much that goes into writing an article or a book. My teacher’s innovative method of  teaching that implies real life type of work has probably taught me more things than any usual class. I’ve retained more by writing blogs than by reading books and answering questions and then taking a test.  I would’ve forgotten 90% of the things I did while reading that book within a week after finishing it and it would’ve been a waste of time. That’s me with many classes in fact. It’s not information that is fun or memorable so if I’m not using it then I’ll forget it. However, in my class, instead of answering questions for each chapter and taking multiple tests, we show what we’ve learned from the book through a presentation or project in which we work together with a team to create it. This method, is less repetitive and more memorable.

I learned how important certain things like organization can affect the reader and make certain things memorable. This helps me with projects across all subjects. I learned to stand out and to be different so that people notice me as something unique rather than any other presentation or project that are basically all the same.

Next time I wish I could spend more time with the blogs and create multiple drafts. I wish all the students can show each other their own blogs and we could give each other pieces of advice on things to add or change. If I could I would spend more time on each blog in order to produce quality blogs where readers would read all the way to the end.

To sum up, my blogging experience was a great, new experience where I learned a lot about writing and real life applications. It’s always cool to try new things because you’re never going to know what you’re going to get out of it.

Good Morning America

I came by this post and found it very intriguing. It’s interesting to see one’s own opinions on the news. He provides a good claim on the current police force and is an overall interesting read. I myself can agree and disagree on the position. On multiple occasions, the police have been shown to be militarized and brutal. Although I believe a police force is important to justice and safety in society, I don’t think that they should be so brutal and militarized as many instances were they display themselves as such. Maybe the system needs to be changed and fixed. Not all policemen are bas though. Many are very good policemen who care about the safety of others, but the ones which do commit these brutal acts towards citizens, should be punished. Many instances that this blog explains, shows how the police are using unnecessary weapons against protestors whom have the freedom of speech. It definitely isn’t fair and something needs to be done to prevent it.

Check the blog out, it’s a great read.

MyGradeDependsOnThis

Lately, around the great nation of the United States, there have been numerous incidents where police have hurt and targeted many civilians which has led to many of their deaths. There was a time when the specific race of people would be targeted, now one specific race is not being targeted, it is the people as a whole. All people are being targeted by brutal police attacks, but one race of people is the easiest for police to target. Black communities around the nation have been traumatized by the pain and suffering that has been inflicted upon them by the men who have been sworn to protect us.

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Preparing for a Half Marathon

half marathon

To this date I’ve ran quite a number of marathons. At first I faced a ton of adversity and anxiety but over the months, they’ve become numb to me as I have become accustomed to them. It has almost become a routine for me every time I sign up for a half marathon. I haven’t done a full marathon yet, which is my ultimate goal. I’ve gone up to 20 miles but a full marathon is 26. But still, even the thought of a 20 mile run makes me shiver, let alone adding 6 more. However, 13 miles (half marathon) have become a bit easier and I can overcome them with little thought. If you are trying out running for the first time or are beginning and aiming for a 13 mile goal, there is a lot of preparing that needs to be done.

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Messing With People is Fun

I’m a really easy going, light hearted guy. I like to lightly tease people and evoke a laugh and it honestly gives me a good time. It’s not like a put people down though and make them feel bad. That’s just mean. I like to bring out funny reactions out of people in order to make them and others and myself laugh. It’s great to find people who are a great sport about it but, some are just so uptight and serious they don’t seem to like the joke or gag.

I went around my school and filmed a comedy video of me messing with people. Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iEUurgKgzw

Anyways, I bet you’re still wondering, “What’s this blog about?”

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Life of a Cross Country student

running

It’s bitter sweet every time I talk about my passion for running and people always say, “You actually like that?” Yes, I do. I love it. Running actually helps clear my mind of all the busy things going on in my life and is an awesome past time. But, besides being a runner I’m also a student. I attend a competitive high school where the classes are vigorous, and the teachers are strict. But, besides being a runner and a student, I’m also a son. I live under my parents’ roof and at home, whatever they say, goes. I have strict parents that have high expectations of me. Home isn’t complete relaxation though. At home I face a lot of chores and do a lot of work. It definitely isn’t easy to balance all the busy things that go on in my life so every hour counts. It requires a precise schedule that must be on time.

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How to Break the Awkward Silence In Group Hangouts

people on their phones

It happens quite often when I sit with a group of friends, hanging out…but we aren’t really hanging out.. We’re all looking at the screens on our phone. It happened to me once where it was with my cross country team and all we did was sat their staring at our video, or game, etc. I personally don’t like it once I come to the realization of it but I too am guilty of it. It’s at those times where I think to myself, “What has come of this generation?.. What are we doing just sitting here, on our phones, and not having an actual conversation?” That’s when I make my attempt at trying to break the silence.

“So guys, what’s for practice today?..”

“40 minute run.”

“Cool,” I reply, “So….”

At that point I knew this conversation was to heavy to carry and that they didn’t really care to even reply. My attempt at trying to get a conversation going so that we didn’t sit their in silence failed. So, I looked to come up with ways to be able to break the awkward silence in conversations. Here are some tips and tricks for breaking the awkward silence and to get your friends to put away their phones:

Jokes and Riddles!

Jokes and riddles are a great way to get people to stop looking at their phone. When you ask them a question it gets them involved to what you’re saying and think about an answer. They get a laugh out of it, and everyone enjoys. Often times when you start off with a joke, your friends start telling their jokes and a solid conversation is going.

Here are some of my favorite jokes and riddles. Watch yourself, these will definitely make you think…

Q: Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the tallest mountain in the world.

A: Mt. Everest.

Q: Mary’s father has 5 daughters – Nana, Nene, Nini, Nono. What is the fifth daughters name?
A: If you answered Nunu, you are wrong. It’s Mary!

Q: fA: Most people will only see three F’s. But, there are actually 6!! Here’s a hint, check the word “oF.” Don’t worry, it caught me to and I almost flipped out.

Show a Video

If you can’t stay off your phone at least use it WITH the group. Do something together like watch a video. If you’ve seen any funny videos or videos that you like, share it with the group. If it’s funny you’ll all get a laugh out of it. My favorite funny video is on the Youtube channel about this soccer play. It left me in complete tears because it was so ridiculous.

Play Games

Another way to utilize your phone in group hangouts if you really can’t stay off it is play an app game. There are a lot of trivia games that can be more fun than you think. It involves the group and brings excitement when the answer is revealed. Also, you can play games like Truth or Dare, or 21 Questions, that involve the entire group.

Here are just some of the many fun activities that you can do to be an icebreaker in a group hangout. I know these awkward moments happen very often for everyone and I hope just these few methods can go a long way.

Nike Air Mag Finally in 2015?!?!

nike air mag gif

In the 1989 movie, Back to The Future Part 2, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is seen wearing these futuristic Nike shoes that light up and even self tie themselves. The comedy/sci-fi movie was released in 1989 but the story was set in 2015, which was the future from where the Nike Air Mag would come from. Fast forward 26 years and here we are, 2015. But, where are these futuristic, self tying Nike shoes that Back to The Future claims there to be?

nike air mag

Indeed they are here and have been here since 2011 when the Back to The Future Nike Air Mag replicas were released. They were almost completely accurate to the ones displayed in the movie with only one thing missing; the self tying function. There were 1500 pairs made and they were auctioned on ebay where the proceeds would go towards the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease Research. Even though these official Nike replicas were very aesthetically appealing, they did not have that iconic self tying function that made the shoes popular. Well, WORRY NO FURTHER YOU SNEAKERHEAD, BACK TO THE FUTURE FANS. They’re coming and 2015 is the year where they were in the movie so 2015 is when they shall be delivered!!

Tinker Hatfield, Nike’s chief of innovation, has confirmed they are working on this shoe to be released in 2015, the year they appeared in the movie. Claims have also been made on  Nike’s patent of the self tying lace functionality which they call power lace. Although this is an extremely anticipated events by enthusiasts of shoes and the movies, don’t expect them to be so easily attainable once they’re debuted. First off, the price won’t exactly be cheap for the average sneakerhead. You’ve got to be a major fan to invest in these. The 2011 replicas alone go for hundreds of dollars and in some cases, thousands. You can only imagine how much money the new 2015 Nike Air Mags WITH the power laces will be listed for. Not just the pricing will be a big obstacle, but then you’ll definitely be having  a run for your money. Their are crazy sneakerhead, Back to The Future fans out there who will literally fight for these exclusive shoes when they’re released. Good luck getting they’re fast enough. I predict these will come out of stock FAST

nike air mag tinker

nike air mag hatfield

Although these shoes look very cool with the lights, and futuristic mold, who would actually wear these? Especially after paying hundreds of dollars for it you wouldn’t want a blemish on these treasures. Plus, you’d look like some freak alien with them. Although, you would attract tons of attention and definitely turn heads. Many buy these for display purposes and don’t actually wear them. Some fans even get angry when people wear these shoes. They treat them as if they are artifacts and shouldn’t be touched.

nike air mag scientist

I for one am very excited for the release of the new 2015 Nike Air Mags. Even though it is highly unlikely that I will ever attain one, I’m excited for the power lace technology. Hopefully with the innovative self tying function already established, Nike will incorporate this cool feature into future shoes.

Book and Movie Review: The Fault in Our Stars

tfios book

Yes, I’m a guy and I read this book. And I also watched the movie. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. Go ahead- throw your stereotypes at me and make fun of me. I don’t care. Call me a girl but I for one, enjoyed both the movie and the book. The book was also written by a guy, not a girl.

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