Monday, March 30, 2015

More Than a Mix

The cover of my baking book.      
In my advisory class this quarter, my classmates and I all got assigned the task of creating a passion project. This is when you get to choose a passion of yours, and deepen your understanding in it. My passion was baking and writing, so I put those together and created a baking book!
The core value I demonstrated the most during this process was being a critical thinker. The reason I say this is because of the challenges I had, and how I had to work my way through them to be able to overcome those obstacles. Like I mentioned before, there were some major time constraints, and I had to be a critical thinker and find the best way to work my way around that issue and still be able to write my baking book and continue baking. Furthermore, when improvising during the baking process, I had to think carefully about what I was doing before I actually started to mix the ingredients, as messing up wasn't a thing on my to-do list. Finally, as I said before, finding some ingredients was hard here in Brazil, so I researched alternatives and looked for things that could replace the other baking products. These simple examples already demonstrate why throughout this passion project journey, I was a critical thinker. Next, as in almost everything, there are challenges. In my project, there were a couple, but there were two main ones. The first was probably time constraints. Half way through the time limit, I realised I still had to bake nine things and I hadn’t even gotten ingredients. Because of that, I decided to narrow the baking down to only two recipes per category, meaning I would have to only bake six recipes, and that worked out pretty good. Another challenge I faced was finding ingredients. Most recipes online are from people living in the States or the UK, so some ingredients were hard find in Brazil. Though I found some alternatives and used those instead. In the near future, I want to bake the things I couldn’t bake. As I said, I took out things from the original idea due to time constraints, so now is the time when I can calmly bake and not be worried if it looks bad in the end for the picture. Also, when I bake, I want to be a bit smarter and read through the recipe carefully to know exactly what I should and shouldn’t do.
     Throughout this project, the major area of success was the learning I did. I acquired a lot more knowledge on baking, which I'm really happy about as I can use the new techniques I learned in the future. Firstly, I never really write instructional pieces, so I thought this would be a good chance to do so and improve. To get the correct recipes, what I’d done is look up different versions to make a specific treat, and then I’d pick bits and bobs from the recipes and make it my own. I also tried to improvise a bit to fit my situation and what I like. Then, by filming, I could look back and see what I did and I could easily type up an accurate recipe for the treat. After typing up all the recipes, I noticed different patterns in the writing. For a recipe, you mostly start sentences with commanding verbs, and you try to put in as much information but keep it clear and concise so that the reader knows exactly what do. By having developed this writing skill a lot more, I could use this when I'm, for example, explaining something to someone. They would know the precise thing to do if I use this skill for writing instructional pieces. The second thing I learned throughout this process was more techniques for baking. How long to put something in the oven, the best temperature for cakes, how to layer things correctly, how to know when you should take you cake out, etc. I’m really happy I did learn all these things, as in the future I could use all this new knowledge and use it while baking something. To prove this, I'll direct your attention to a situation when a recipe isn't really good or accurate, but you are baking and you need to know when to take your cake out of the oven. Having the ability to know the simple skills such as being aware how the cake should look like or the colours it should be when you take it out could really save you a burnt cake. These were the two main things I learned when baking and writing my book, and I must say they have and will help me a lot. These are also life-long skills that I acquired, as in the examples explained, I can use both of these skills in the future.

Overall, this passion project was a lot of fun! The baking book I created looked awesome, and I know for sure I'm going to use it a lot.

Gender Inequality - It Needs to be Beaten

SOURCE
In geography, we are currently starting our contemporary world issue. For this project, I chose gender inequality. From what I already know, I can say that this is when people favour one sex over the other. Most of the time, men are liked more than women. I've heard before that many religions in our world imply that women aren't as great as men. Because of that, they can't do things such as show themselves in public or leave the house unless accompanied by a husband. Another example I know that shows gender inequality, could occur at work. A female could get paid less for the same job that a male is doing. These are just two times that show gender inequality that I know of, so I'm curious to know where else you could see gender inequality, and where it occurs the most. Additionally, I'm pretty interested to know where it started. My guess to that question is religions, but I would like to know for sure. Furthermore, what are the effects of gender inequality? There are probably a couple consequences; many psychological, I think. As there are most likely effects, I'm wondering which regulations or actions need to be taken to end gender inequality? If this is an issue, it should be beaten one way or another. The last thing I want to look into, is what is the difference of gender inequality between Europe, and North and South America. Since these three continents have many different cultures, I wonder how the inequality looks like in all the three different areas. As you can see, I do have a couple important questions I would like answered. To do so, I'm going to have to do a lot of investigating. To get good background information, I'm going to search the web. After that, I'm going to deepen my understanding by looking at school-advised websites and databases on the Library database and good newspaper articles form sources like the New York Times to get trusted information. Finally, I'm going to interview people such as my dad, as they have experience hiring people, so I could get a relevant source to tell me what factors they take into account when doing that, and what their opinions are on gender inequality.  The questions I'm going to focus on the most are what the consequences are and where and how this injustice occurs.

Additionally, for this project, each class we have to send out a 'tweet' on a program called Edmodo, and we each have four followers.

MY FOLLOWERS:

  1. Malin
  2. Ben
  3. Jessie
  4. Karin

WHO/WHAT I’M FOLLOWING:

  1. Gun laws (Ben)
  2. Government corruption (Abigail)
  3. Air Pollution (Malin)
  4. Climate Change (Shika)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

O Lugar Da Negociacao


O projeto que meus amigos e eu fizemos, foi fazer um livro! Neste bimestre, nós fizemos muitas coisas para aumentar nossa capacidade de escrever uma lenda. Nós começamos com ler muitas lendas, e classificamos em ensinamento ou explicação. Depois disso, nós aprendemos sobre as momentos da narrativa. Por exemplo, uma história começa com a situação inicial. Durante esse processo, nós aprendemos tempos verbais: o preterito imperfeito e preterito perfeito. Todas essas coisas nós usamos quando escrevemos nossa lenda. Agora, no meio do projeto, Dona Lau falou pra nós que vamos escolher uma lenda, e contar a história em portugues. Isso é o projeto final! Por duas semanas, nós escrevemos e escrevemos. Dona Lau dou muito feedback pra nos. Finalmente, nós finalizamos nossa lenda, e nós fizemos um livro. E isso foi muito legal! Eu escolhi imagens para minha lenda do Creative Commons, e Dona Lau copiou todas em um livro no programa que chama Calaméo. Quando minha professora fez isso, uma outra professora, Ange Molony teve a ideia de nos filmarmos nós mesmos contando a historia. Fizemos isso, e depois nós ficamos pronto!
O core value que eu representei muito durante esse projeto e critical thinker. Eu represento isso muito quando eu classifiquei as lendas e escrevi minha lenda, porque eu pensei muito sobre qual tempo verbal eu vou usar.
Para a próxima vez, eu quero revisar minha história mais antes que Dona Lau dou feedback pra mim, porque alguns erros em minha lenda eram coisas pequeninhas que eu posso saber se eu revisar minha historia.
Este projeto foi muito bom, e eu gostei muito!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Are You Ultimate Enough to Join Our Ultimate Frisbee Game?

What are players' responsibilities?
The field with all the 7th graders in my PE class,
playing ultimate frisbee. 
          On the 9th and the 11th of March, I wasn't able to do PE, therefore missing out on ultimate frisbee classes. My physical education teacher, Ms. Arcenas, had asked me to observe my fellow classmates and be able to answer the question: What are players' responsibilities? Also, over the course of these two days, I've noticed many improvements my classmates have made, though I've also noticed things that they could do better. 
The girls, right before a game,
deciding on their positions. 
          What would you do as an ultimate frisbee player? Let's start off by focusing on the more skills related area. Firstly, you have to try. Having and open mind-set can help you take risks and further your learning. Learning a new sport can be challenging, but having a closed mind-set will lead you no-where so you always need to make sure you are open to trying and getting out there. While observing on Monday, I noticed many of the guys just doing it and they were really good, although some were fooling about not really caring. Some of the girls weren't really in to it as much as well and you could tell that they didn't want to persevere. Ms. Arcenas had asked me about it and I'd said exactly that. She shared what I'd said with the class, and funnily, on Wednesday, some of the students had put themselves out there and got some really good shots. You could clearly see they progressed in some way, which was really cool! Additionally, if you make a mistake, you can always learn from it. If you throw the frisbee in a certain way, and it doesn't work out, you know for next time not to do that. This connects to the last point I' going to make, which is improving your skills. If you can do a back-hand throw really well but not a forehand, you could practice the forehand and improve your skills.
          Now, let's move on to a player's responsibilities when in a game situation. To begin with, somebody on the field should demonstrate team work. Simply passing the frisbee over to one another to get it over for the win or making sure people work together to block the other team's players from transporting the frisbee is how you could show that you are working together effectively. Furthermore, being inclusive is very important in a game situation. Of course, you need to be nice and welcome different players into your team. I noticed that in my PE class most people tend to go to their friends, though if they are assigned a team or a partner it never looks like they are very disappointed. Also, making sure your teammates get the positions they want is a good things as well as then everybody is happy. Finally, in the beginning, in the middle, or after a game a player needs to be a responsible person and show sportsmanship. If the other player scores a point you need to be respectful and not show annoyance or demonstrate rudeness. After a game, if they won, congratulate them, or if they lost, call out: "good game!" to show civility.
Practicing throwing and catching. 
          To sum up, trying, practicing, improving, team work, showing inclusiveness and demonstrating sportsmanship are all important aspects of being a good ultimate frisbee player. Actually, you could use these skills in many other sports or situations where you need to work with other people or do something new. These skills are, in my opinion, the key to success when rocketing the frisbee across the field. 

Sunday, March 08, 2015

How Old Are They?

          Recently, my geography class and I started making our first info-graphic on the life expectancy of three countries. We got to choose one of the American countries, one European, and one from anywhere we want to. I chose the Dominican Republic, Czech Republic, and Thailand. In my info-graphic below, you can see a different reason on each of the country slides showing why their life expectancy is the way it is. The info-graphic represents the data and the different countries, but it doesn't show any clear differences. So, where are the dissimilarities?
'Flag of the Dominican Republic'
LINK

          Let me start off with the Dominican Republic. During my research, I came across an amazing fact about the Dominican Republic, stating that unemployment rates have decreased from 27% to 20% between 1980 and 1990 in this Hispanic country. This means that many people who were living in poverty, didn't/don't anymore, leading to them being able to pay for their basic necessities such as nutritious foods, water, and health care. Comparing this to Czech Republic, where only 8.6% of the population lives in poverty. This could be because Czech Republic is a very developed country, meaning it is also quite wealthy. Additionally, having a smaller percentage of citizens in Czech Republic living in poverty, they live longer lives than citizens in the Dominican Republicans do. In Thailand 13.2% of the population lives in poverty. Although it is less than the Central-American country, it is still more than the European. In Thailand, there are 67.01 million people. 13.2% of that is around 5 million citizens. Now, using these final three percentages, we can easily point out that more citizens in the Dominican Republic live in poverty than Thailand or Czech Republic. That's already one difference. 

Flag of Czech Republic
          Furthermore, the European country I chose for this project was Czech Republic. Finding reasons online why Czech Republic's life expectancy is the way it is, was quite challenging. There were not as many things about improvement in essential statistics or facts that would affect their age for living as there was for Thailand or the Dominican Republic. Though eventually I found out that in Czech Republic, since 1995 to 2005, the amount of deaths on the road relating to alcohol decreased by more than 50% ! Currently, there are only 4.4% of alcohol-related accidents and/or killings. When I found this fact, I looked a bit more into the alcohol laws in Czech Republic, and I found out that they have laws stating that you are not allowed to have alcohol in your blood when you drive. If found that you have alcohol in your body at a checkpoint, police will take you and your car. This is almost the same for Thailand and in the Dominican Republic. The Asian country doesn't allow alcohol for professional or commercial drivers to drink, but they let 0.05% be in any other drivers blood.  Moreover, the Caribbean island only let's by 0.03 percent. It's still not zero, so there is a difference in opinions about drunk-driving. 
'Flag of Thailand'
          Lastly, my free option was an Asian country, Thailand. I found a lot of data and many articles about health there. The most interesting fact that caught my eye was about the top three reasons death occurs in Thailand. Surprisingly, stroke is the number one reason of death in Thailand. Second, coronary heart disease, which is when plaque builds up in your coronary arteries which supply your heart with oxygen and blood. Thirdly, diabetes mellitus. This illness is the most common form of it's type, and it happens when your sugar and starch can't be metabolized causing coma's and convulsions. The reason I said that these reasons were a surprise to me is because I would think people pass away in Thailand because of something such as hunger or lack of cleanliness, due to the high poverty rate. Thailand is a major production country. Meaning that in multiple stores in the west you can find the label 'made in Thailand'. Working in a factory with unsafe and unhealthy conditions should bring down the average life expectancy, I would think. Going to the same database, World Life Expectancy.com, but changing the country to Czech Republic, I'm noticing that coronary heart disease is number one and stroke is second in their top three as well, though their third is lung cancer. In this European country, many people smoke. This activity is only banned in some places such as a hospitals and institutions, though bars, clubs, and restaurants and multiple other public places are open to the cigarettes. Next, in the Dominican Republic the same two diseases are on top, although the third disease this time is Hypertension, a time when a person has abnormally high blood pressure. This is quite interesting as well. As reported in 2004 by PubMed.gov, hypertension and pre-hypertension is spreading rapidly and quite evenly throughout the Asian country, whereas in Czech Republic hypertension isn't that much of a concern, as only 2.3% of deaths occur because of that. Thailand only has hypertension 10th on the list of reasons why people die, and only 2.91% of deaths happen because of this. This shows that the countries have a variety of different concerns regarding health diseases and death.
Woman and Man
          Countries around the world are very different from each other. Meaning, you can easily distinguish the opposites, like I did above for the Dominican Republic, Czech Republic and Thailand. Interestingly, as you just read, these three countries are totally different. Factors such as laws, health, and wealth all play a part in the difference. All in all, Czech Republic has the highest life expectancy out of the three countries I chose for my life expectancy info-graphic. 

Country data:
Dominican Republic Life Expectancy:
Men - 75.6
Women - 80.08
Whole Country - 77.8

Czech Republic Life Expectancy:
Men - 75.34
Women - 81.45
Whole Country- 78.31

Thailand Life Expectancy:
Men - 71
Women - 77.54
Whole Country - 74.18

Down below you can see my info-graphic. Here is the link if you would like to see the actual webpage.

Extra links:
http://data.worldbank.org/country/czech-republic
http://data.worldbank.org/country/thailand
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drunk_driving_law_by_country
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm
http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com

Monday, March 02, 2015

Governing Different Worlds

Government meeting in Brazil
"Brazilian cabinet meeting"
LINK
What are the purposes of governments?
Mr. Jorgensen
7th Grade Humanities, SP
      Over the course of last week, my humanities class mates and I learned many things about forms of governments from the past. An activity we did, we brainstormed a couple of characteristics that represent a good government. We'd decided upon a couple important elements. Firstly, governments have to enforce the law. There can't be any tresspassing. If somebody breaks the law, action must be taken to ensure that that citizen doesn't break the law a second time. Also, if government members let the law slip by for one person who broke it but not for another person who broke the law, they shouldn't be governing as it isn't fair to the citizen who get's punishment. That leads to another thing: governments have to be honest. They have to be honest to the citizens about the laws. Though they also have to be honest with things such as if they have a lack of resources. For example: Brazil. One and a half years ago, the government in the South American country knew there were going to be water shortages, but they hadn't told citizens, hoping the problem would improve. Now, in 2015, the government is thinking of plans to cut off water for long periods of time to be able to save water. Brazilian citizens are frustrated that the government has kept this news from them. This is a saddening example of how a government wasn't honest to it's citizens. Additionally, a government has to improve the country. They can do this in many ways. Staying up-to-date with the rest of the world could help as well. Say that one country has invented something, such as a teleporter. Other countries who communicate with that nation could figure out that having this invention could help them as well. Owning the newest, high-tech technology vastly modernizes a country. Also, having laws and enforcing them, as was stated before, helps create a more unified country. Being able to work with one another and follow the same orders makes living a lot easier, and that improves the country as well. Furthermore, a government needs to be able to motivate a country. You might be wondering how a government could do that. They don't stand on the side lines of a soccer match and call out inspirational phrases. No, they should do it another way. Using the example of the lack of water in Brazil, something the government could be doing is saying positive things about the situation. Newspapers only publicize the negative things, as that is the only thing they are hearing form the government. If members of the 'ruling' body are interviewed and say things such as: "Our weather technology is forecasting more showers, which could increase our water level," or state ways to improve such as "please shower for a shorter time, as lessening the amount of water use could improve our situation," citizens feel more reassured that the problem isn't so bad. In doing so they feel more protected by people they chose to be in the government.
"White House"
Washington, D.C.
LINK

     As you can see in the image up top, my class brainstormed many more ideas such as promoting cultural diversity, keeping order and peace, and controlling military, though the ones I just talked about are the characteristics that stood out to me the most.

In the Giver, does the government fulfil the requirements of a government?
     Before Carnaval break, my 7th grade Humanities class finished reading the inspiring, touching book: The Giver. This was written by Lois Lowry.
Before we get into it, I'll give you some background knowledge on the way of being in the Giver. The world in which characters form this book live in is a dystopian time. They don't have basic things in life such as colours, weather, or curiosity. Their government has shut off all these things. Only one person in the community, the Receiver, can have knowledge on the past, so that in times of need, he can give knowledge on these things. For example, a 'family unit' can only have two children: a boy and a girl, though some citizens wanted bigger families. They went to the community Elders [government] to ask if they could, and the Elders went to the Receiver, who said it'd be best not to have bigger families as that could risk lack of food and hunger. I hope that helped you [the reader], understand some basic things about their government.
   
This is in the beginning of the movie, there is no colour.
LINK
To start off, the government in this book would most likely fit under the group: oligarchy, as it is a small group of people who rule the community. Though you wouldn't just be able to place it under a type of government and be done. This way of controlling a community is much more complex. It seems like Ms. Lowry spent a lot of time meticulously creating the little details that formed the ruling body in the Giver. Let us start of with laws in this community. In the book though, they are called rules. Citizens aren't aware of the difference, though. A law controls a larger area, though a rule is part of a smaller circle of activities. The 'laws' in this community are constantly regulated. There are speakers, microphones, and video cameras installed everywhere in the community; in houses, in offices, in hospitals. People who work for the committee of Elders [the government] can listen to what people say and see what they are doing. If they violate a minor law or rule, they are chastised anonymously, but publicly. A speaker would suddenly announce something like: "Attention. This is a reminder to all females under nine that hair ribbons are to be neatly tied at all times." (23) This is an example of how the government in the Giver enforces the 'law'. Since these rules are so strict and so carefully controlled, there is definite order, and all these things to follow prevent conflicts. It unifies the community as they don't have to argue about anything. They can simply work together and not be uncomfortable with one another. Continuing on, the government definitely controls resources. A morning, afternoon, and evening meal is sent to each and every single home that is in the community. Because of this, all citizens have the same weight. If somebody gains a bit of weight, their next meal would be smaller, or it would include something like a pill to lose weight. (Son, Lois Lowry) To be more clear, governments can easily regulate the consumption of food and drinks through this. Adding on, since they have climate control (83) in their community, things such as a scorching sun or freezing wind doesn't affect their needs. Citizens don't need to drink specific colder or hotter beverages for example.

Holding hands: forbidden. This is in the movie
The last characteristic I'm going to share is about providing freedom, which the committee of Elders does not do at all. Freedom is many things. To be free, is to be able to say what you want, to do what you want, and to act the way you feel is right. This community doesn't accept any of these things. One of the rules is precision of language, which forces citizens to speak 'correctly'. A word that would break that rule, is love. It is a concept and a thing that citizens in that world don't know about. (125) As love could create minor conflicts, they prohibit it. People can't touch each other unless they are in their family unit (The Giver Movie), showing that they can't act the way they want to or do things that they would have wanted to do.
     As was said before, there are many more characteristics of a government, though these to me, are the most important for the Giver.