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Rx by Tracy Lynn

Tracy Lynn crafts another gripping, yet comedic, novel for the eyes of young adults. This book, titled Rx helps the modern teenager understand the ongoing strife between their daily ‘Job’ of being a teenager and the struggles that come with it: self-esteem issues, self-recognition, relationships, romanticism, academic achievement, and highlights drug abuse.


Rx’s main character, Thyme, has a preconceived fascination with drugs, not because she wants to have to rely on them. Simply because of what drugs have the ability to do;

“They can’t make you fly, but that can make you feel like you do. They can make you jump higher and run faster. Think better and smarter. Make your cough and cold go away. Put you to sleep. Wake you up. Get old geezers’ johnnies goind and put the kibosh on sexual predators. They can grow more hair for you or stop it from growing on your chin. They can give you clear, beautiful skin. They can keep you from getting pregnant or help you get pregnant. Cure your salmonella, your gonorrhea, your fricking foot fungus. Forget just uppers and downers: Prescription drugs really are the magic potions of the real world.” Thyme is like many other high school students that experiment with prescription pills; she is curious and wants to know more about them, and for this curiosity, she cannot be blamed.

She begins her short tenure as a drug dealer in her upscale suburban high school after she steals her close friend, and eventual boyfriend, Will’s bottle of Ritalin for herself to use as a study drug after he rejects using it. Once she begins using it for herself, she starts to try other drugs wherever she may find them: medicine cabinets, purses, kitchen counters, friends’ book bags. Once she begins controlling her own mood swings and the counter effects of the drugs she’s taking, she begins selling and dealing them to her other friends that have the same dependences as she does. 

In the final section of the book (the novel is divided into two sections: Junior Year and Senior Year, the last chapter of the book, titled The End goes into Thyme’s very first year as a freshman in college), Thyme finds herself in the bathroom of her dorm in college, and as she organizes her bathroom caddy, she finds a few pills. She goes to the toilet to flush them down and end her cycle as a dealer, but before she can react, she overhears her new acquaintances asking where they might get Adderall or Ritalin or Stratera. They're willing to pay, and Thyme is willing to supply.

Tracy Lynn crafts Thyme in a way that she does not, in any way, fit the profile of a drug dealer: she is a straight A student, intent on going to college, finishing her work, being kind and cordial with everyone, looking out for those she loves, living in an affluent community. She doesn’t have the assumed conniving spirit of a drug dealer. She keeps her situation quiet for as long as possible, she remains under the radar.

Lynn shows that not only middle and lower class children experience the temptation of finding a way to ‘help’ themselves with whatever they need, through the assistance of drugs and drug abuse. She gives a different perspective; it is one that some are aware exists, but is unbeknownst to the masses. She brings it to light in this thought-provoking novel.



In Lynn’s afterword, she tells her readers that her reasons for writing a book such as Rx are “purely personal”. She was friends with two people whose lives were adversely affected by the wear and tear of illegally obtained prescription drug addiction and abuse. She warns readers that the phrase “just say no” does not get easier to follow with age. A touching finish to a book such as this, I find that Tracy Lynn really implemented her personal life in this novel, which is always reassuring to recognize when it comes to a novel like this.



I find that the summary on the back fits the book perfectly, but doesn’t give too much away. It summarizes but isn’t too revealing. Rx by Tracy Lynn is a novel that I recommend to those who love a book that they can connect with. I found one quote especially moving, and have used it in my writing:  “In high school, hell is not the absence of God, but of communication.” I will carry that with me forever. Nevertheless, Rx is a novel for all readers. Insightful and appealing, Rx will always find itself on my bookshelf.






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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire IRP

Jamie Turner

6-7-13 Orange Stream

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The book I read for my second independent reading project this year was “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”  I decided to read this because I really enjoyed the first “Hunger Games” and I had heard that the second book of the trilogy is even more exciting than the first one.  Now since this is the sequel of “The Hunger Games” I wouldn’t suggest reading this if you plan on reading any of the books because I will have to spoil some of the parts of the book in order to let you know how I feel about certain parts.


The book picks up where “The Hunger Games” left off.  The main characters Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark have just won the hunger games and are planning on going on their victory tour.  Before the tour she is informed by the president himself that one slip up could cause an uprise throughout the Districts of Panem (their home country).  Katniss has discovered that she and Peeta will have to go back into the Arena.  After a series of events in the Arena Katniss whose main objective was to keep Peeta alive, discovers that the remaining contestants have tried to rebel against the capital and have demolished the barrier that keeps them in the arena.  After the Barrier is destroyed Katniss becomes unconscious.  She wakes up in what used to be district 13 and finds out that her own district was blown up.  Going into the book I never saw any of this happening.

Personally I really enjoyed “Catching Fire”.  It had me on the edge of my seat.  A lot of the time I could not put the  book down just because I wanted to know what was going to happen next.  It seems as though the author Suzanne Collins makes sure that the most shocking things happen at the end of the chapters so the reader wants to keep reading.  There were days when I wouldn’t get out of bed until one o’clock in the afternoon because I just couldn’t stop reading.


The only problem I had with the book was that at some parts the author was a little too descriptive.  I felt as though Collins spent too much describing things that really had no relevance to the story line.  I would get a little bored when the author decides to take up 3 pages describing the different foods Katniss is being served.  This wasn’t a major problem for me because I felt as though something like this is too minor to not want to read the book.


I would most definitely suggest this book to almost anyone.  Going along with what I said about description in the book there are some pretty violent parts that younger readers may not want to hear so I might not suggest this to younger children.  Anyone else who has an interest in trying out “The  Hunger Games” trilogy I would highly suggest it.  This book brings a little bit of everything to the table.  It has a love story, it has some action parts, and it has it twists in the plot which I think really makes this book.


I’ve decided that I am going to finish this trilogy over the summer.  I am not usually interested into reading a book but these books have an exception.  “The Hunger Games” is like no other book I have read before.  Like I said it has some of everything in it.  The thing that makes me want to keep reading is that once you start reading you get attached to these characters.  It makes you feel like you are meeting these people in real life and you are a part of their community.  You also get to develop your own opinions on different characters.  Of course the book has its antagonists and protagonists but you have a specific way you think of them no matter what happens.


Overall I am very pleased with “Catching Fire” It has its twists and turns in the story line but it has nothing too far fetched that you just can’t read it.
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Halo: Ghosts of Onyx book review

Independent Reading Book

David Leonard

The book I read was called Halo: Ghosts of Onyx by Eric Nylund. This book is the fourth book in the halo book series. It is continueing the New York Times bestselling series based on the Xbox game. This book was published in 2006.

A man named Kurt who is kidnapped while on a mission to train the next gen. of super soldiers known as Spartan III’s to fight a war. These super soldiers are made of kids who were orphaned by war. They are sent on suicidal missions in which most did not make it. But then the planet Onyx which they train on activates ancient technology they have to fight for their lives and try to recover some of this tech to put an end to the war.

The conflict in this book is the Human race is at war with an advanced alien race called the Covenant which are made up of different alien species. The Covenant win the majority of the battles but the humans are able to win small battles but with heavy casualties. Then something in the planet Onyx turns on and creates these AI units called sentinels. These sentinels are very dangerous and put both the humans and Covenant in danger.

The main characters are a man named Kurt, Dr. Catherine Halsey, Chief Menendez and the Spartan III’s. Kurt is a Spartan II and in charge of of training the Spartan III’s. Dr. Halsey is trying to recover the ancient technology on Onyx and use it to end the Human-Covenant War. Chief Menendez is Kurts right hand man in training the Spartan III’s and former trainer of the Spartan II’s. The Spartan III’s are an army of Spartans that are sent on nearly impossible missions where most don’t survive.

I cannot relate to any of the characters in the book. I never felt some of the same things that the characters felt. I could not relate to any of the characters because I never experienced anything like the characters. I also never been put in a near suicidal situations.

I think this book is O.K. A strength of this book is it explains what is going on and what some things are for people who don’t understand what is going on. A weakness is that the book sometimes changes the setting in the middle of a chapter. If I could change something in the book I wouldn’t change anything since it is based off one of my favorite video games. I would recommend this book to other people because it is very descriptive and is at a high school reading level.


Creative English IDR
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Independent Reading Project

Nicholas Sparks has written, yet, another sensation. The Best of Me is, like many of other of Sparks’ books, a #1 New York Times bestseller. This story is currently in the works of coming to the big screen. The Best of Me will be produced by Nicholas Sparks Productions and Denise DiNovi, who is not new to bringing Sparks’ books to life. She also helped produced the very famous A Walk to Remember and The Lucky One. 

The Best of Me tells the story of two high school kids from two separate worlds who fall deeply in love. Amanda Collier, one of the main characters, is the beautiful, perfect, rich girl in the town of Oriental who is expected by everyone, especially her parents, to go to the best college, marry the best guy, and live the perfect life, but that is not what she has in mind for herself at all. She does, though expect of herself to live a perfect life and that is because she sees the rest of her life being with only one person, Dawson, another main character. Dawson Cole has unfortunately taken on the bad reputation from his family members, but not because he was like them, just simply because he was born into them. “The Coles” were the trash of the town. They’re liars, thieves, drunks, fighters, and just downright trouble-makers. Not only did Amanda’s family forbid their love, but as did the town. There were always going to be whispers about the two of them, but it didn’t matter as long as they had each other. 

It all started when they became lab partners, and from then on they were inseparable. Dawson’s family did not approve of the fact that he “thought he was better than them”, so they beat on him. Finally, Dawson had enough and moved out. He found a truck to crash for the night, unknowing that it was going to be the start of a true home and friendship. Tuck, another main character, recently lost his wife, destroying him and leaving him to be alone as a depressed drunk. Having Dawson around gave him a sense of security and friendship. He let Dawson live in his garage and also gave him a job, but that was pointless considering since once Dawson’s dad and cousins found out about the money they once again beat on him until he gave it up every month. Tuck knew about this and became more of a father figure to Dawson making sure he could always get by even without the paycheck. Tuck, though, was the only other person besides Amanda and Dawson who really witnessed, understood, and could describe the type of love they had. He knew it was that “once in a lifetime kind of love”. Dawson and Amanda faced their final obstacle  when Amanda’s parents gave her an awful alternative, Dawson or college. They did this knowing how important college was to her, and that she couldn’t afford it on her own considering she has always just been handed everything. Dawson still meant more to her than anything and she quickly gave up her dream of college and decided to move in with Dawson. Dawson couldn’t take her dream away from her, though and ended it between them. 

It is now many years later and Amanda is no longer that love struck 18 year old girl, but a married mother of 4, well technically now only 3 due to the fact that her daughter, Bea was diagnosed with a brain tumor as a baby and passed away.  Her father had also passed away. The deaths of her loved ones and her awful relationship with her now alcoholic husband, she periodically went back to Oriental to visit Tuck. Dawson, out of the army and quite the same man, is still living alone. He has yet to date anyone since Amanda. The two of them, unknowingly, are being set up to meet again. They are both coming back to Oriental because of the death of Tuck, but before he went he made sure they would get their second chance because he knew they had a love like him and his wife. Amanda and Dawson soon catch up and before they know it they once again expressing to each other how in love they are, have always been, and always will be. But Amanda can’t turn away from her other life that easily, and they both think maybe they’ll have a place together in the world someday, but not now. On the way home Amanda is informed her son and husband were in a deadly accident, leaving her son in immediate need of heart transplant. Dawson, on the way home, did the only thing that would truly make up for one of the biggest regrets he has always had. While going past the bar he realizes his cousins are beating to death the son of the man he accidentally killed in a car accident that wasn’t his fault. By saving this man’s son he began to finally forgive himself, but then he was shot. Dawson was killed instantly and Amanda was crushed by the news, but then Dawson truly gave Amanda the best of him. Dawson’s heart was used to save Amanda’s dying son. Amanda’s kids were all healthy and safe, her relationship with her husband became stronger, and she was happy, but she will always be in love with Dawson Cole. 

The conflict of this story is mainly about Dawson and Amanda’s relationship and the rest of the world. It seems all the odds are against them. They overcame quite a few obstacles, but time seemed to do them the worst. Time gave them the opportunity to move on and the space from one another to grow doubtful of their love being just a teenage fling or the real deal. In time, yes they still loved each other, but they are both too good of people to just hurt the others they have built their separate lives with just so they can be happy. 

My favorite character from the book is Tuck. Tuck did everything he could to be a good father figure, friend, and advisor for Dawson and Amanda. He believed in their love and believed they both deserved, more than anything, to be happy. He even made sure before he died that the one thing that would be taken care of are the two of them. 

Being so young, I have yet to really relate to this book. Obviously every teenage girl fantasizes to be in a teenage love like Dawson and Amanda that lasts and can overcome anything, but unfortunately, like many others, I have yet to experience that. 

Like every other Nicholas Sparks book, I love it. I think a strength of this book is just the overall plot. Teenage love that lasts a lifetime really captures people because that is kind of the ideal theory. Another strength is the ending of the book, which didn’t make me happy, but did make it realistic in a satisfying way by showing that nothing can ever be perfect and you can’t always have a happy ending. I really don’t think there were any weaknesses of this book, nor do I think I would change anything. I love this book exactly the way it is. 

I would definitely recommend this book to others because it really portrays this idea of destiny intertwined into an amazing love story. The idea of it all is very interesting. The way destiny brings these two people together, keeps them together, brings them back together, and then help them save each other really puts things into a different perspective and is unlike any other book. 

Nicholas Sparks always has books fraught with amazing and inspirational little quotes. The Best of Me is no exception of that. “Don't take my advice. Or anyone's advice. Trust yourself. For good or for bad, happy or unhappy, it's your life, and what you do with it has always been entirely up to you.” I think this is a great quote because it really speaks to people that the choices in your life, no matter how pressured you are, are still entirely yours. You and only you should be in control of your life. “Change isn't always for the best.” I like this quote because I really relate to it. People are always pushing this idea that change is good, but this just agrees with me, sometimes it isn’t. “I gave you the best of me, he'd told her once, and with every beat of her son's heart, she knew he'd exactly done that.”  I really enjoy this quote just because I think if you could describe this book in a few words than this quote did more than a good job at that. “Because you aren't just someone I loved back then. You were my best friend, my best self, and I can't imagine giving that up again." He hesitated searching for the right words. "You might not understand, but I gave you the best of me, and after you left, nothing was ever the same.” I picked this quote just because it is probably one of the best love quotes I have ever heard. 

Nicholas Sparks, one of the most deft authors alive, made his outbreak after the release of The Notebook, which is still considered to be one of the best love stories ever told and is included in many people’s lists when asked what either is their favorite book or their favorite movie. Many of Sparks’ books are inspired by his family members, as are the characters names in his books. Many of Sparks’ books have been #1 New York Times bestsellers, as they have also always made a big hit when released to theaters after being brought to life. Nicholas Sparks’ wife is always considered to be the luckiest life in the world, considering her husband is considered to be the most romantic husband in the world. Some unknown facts about Sparks is that he ran a full scholarship at the University of Notre Dame for track, wasn’t recognized as an adept author until his third book, The Notebook of course, and he also has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.


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Creative description: The word "destiny" is written across to best describe their story. They were destined for each other. The words written inside describe ways they are, or, how they are destined, and things, places, or ideas that make them destined. The words are written in the order they happened as a timeline. The hearts with their names represent them and their love, and if you look closely the word "destiny" is written inside tracks in which separates the hearts to show how they were from "opposite sides of the tracks", and had a forbidden love, but the words in the tracks are what kept pulling them back together. The truck represents where it all began. 
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Negative Space

A. Negative space is the distance between and around an image.


B. In my cut out the negative space was the outline of the shadow of the drawing. In my still life drawing the negative space was the space between and around my images.


C.  By using negative space the artist can make a clear drawing of a image without capturing every single little detail.


D. Negative space does enhance drawings because it’s  a beautiful way of capturing an image.

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Element Project

Inquiry - I used inquiry to figure out what element I was assigned and what I was going to draw. 

Research - I used research to figure out what I needed to know about my element. I had to find out what it's in, used for. That's how I figured out what I was going to draw.

Collaboration - I used collaboration when I needed help and gave out help to others. I needed help cutting out my negative space, because it wasn't working out well for me and making sure when i matted the paper it was even. 

Presentation - I used presentation when I had to paint it and choose colors then I had to center it to make it look really good and for the most part, I think I did really good. 

Reflection - I looked at my pictures just to examine and realize, "I did great" and then I completed the blog post. 
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Element Project

Inquiry- I used inquiry on this project to find out how big the element that I was assigned was. i also used inquiry for this project so I could find out what it can be used for.

Research- During this project I did a lot of research to find out things about my element. For example, when we started, everyone had to find what they would draw as their element and we all went on searching things it can be used for.

Collaboration- A way that we all used collaboration in this project is that sometimes when we got stuck, we would ask others what they knew and we  would end up sharing information. In the end, all the  shared info really helped.

Presentation- In my opinion, this project was a difficult one. But what really helped was that some of us would present our drawings to our friends to see what they thought about our drawings, and it really helped.

Reflection- In the end, all I can say is that it ended pretty well. Yes, it could have gone by a little better.
Photo on 6-7-13 at 11.20 AM
Photo on 6-7-13 at 11.20 AM #2
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Elements Project

Inquiry - I used this by looking for information about my element Cobalt. This allowed me to find what things I was going to use for my final print.

Research - Researching allowed me to learn things about my element that I have never known before. Like how it means goblin in German.

Collaboration - I let my table mates look at the 3 sketches that I had so that they could help me pick out the best one.

 Presentation - We had a certain size of paper that had to go behind the printing to make it look better. 

 Reflection - I really liked this project because I have done this before and I really enjoyed this and it allowed me to almost re-new my skills. Like learn some new techniques from others.
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Print Making Blog Reflection - Adnan

​Reflection:
Inquiry:
Inquiry is about curiosity and diving in to research. This project reflects inquiry because I had to find out information about the element. Then, I had to use that information to come up with a design to make that would represent it.

Research:
Research is about looking through different things and gathering information or data in order to come to a higher knowledge about something. Research had to be done about the element to figure out things like its atomic number and its symbol. Also, research had to be done in order to figure out the different uses of Potassium to find different things that I could draw.

Collaboration:
Collaboration is about coming together with other people in order to accomplish a goal. This project involved collaboration because I had to collaborate with my friend in order to get ideas for what to draw. Also, I helped him get ideas for what to draw for his project.

Presentation:
This project represents presentation because I had to go through a process of making the print presentable. It had to be a certain size and it had to be straight when it was matted so that it would look good.

Reflection:
Reflection is about looking back on what you've done and thinking how things could've been different. This project involved reflection because I had to think about what colors would look better after I made each print, and I thought about how the drawing reflected the element. Also, the fact that I'm making this reflection as part of the project shows reflection in itself.
Picture For Art Project Printing
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The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

The book that I read was the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was published in 1925 by Charles Scribner’s and sons. In its first year The Great Gatsby was not on the best seller list or in the New York Times. It received mixed reviews and sold poorly. In the first year of its publishing only 20,000 copies were sold. In 1940 Fitzgerald died. Feeling that his work was a failure and would go on to be forgotten. It would later be brought back to America’s attention during World War II, and soon became a part of the high school curriculum throughout decades. The Great Gatsby is now considered to be an American classic, and is now ranked one of the greatest pieces of literature in American History. 

The book The Great Gatsby is a love story filled with party’s and affairs. It follows some of the most wealthy type of people in the 1920’s. It was Fitzgerald’siration from the party’s that he had attended in long island. The book takes place in the fictional  town of West Egg and is narrated by Nick Carraway who is the cousin of another major character Daisy Buchanan. Along with Daisy’s friend that Nick is fond of Jordan Baker. A championship golf player. Nick is a veteran of the war and decides to take up the bond business and move away from his home to be in New York. Nick is not apart of the wealthier West Egg he lives “In the less fashionable part” as he puts it. His neighbor however is the handsome and rich Jay Gatsby who befriends Nick to reunite with his great love Daisy. Daisy however is married to Tom Buchanan. A millionaire brute of a man who was a acquainted with Nick in college and is cheating on Daisy  with a woman in New York Myrtle Wilson who is the wife of a struggling mechanic and owner of his own garage George B. Wilson. During this summer of 1922 Nick receives and invitation from Gatsby to attend one of his parties. After Nick had become acquainted with Jay Gatsby, Gatsby asks nick to invite daisy over to his house for tea. When Daisy arrives it is discovered that her and Gatsby have history together and were once in love. They began to have an affair, and over time Tom the husband of Daisy becomes increasingly suspicious of her whereabouts and relationship with this “Gatsby”. This leads to a series of events and chaos that impacts the lives of all of the characters drastically, but Daisy. She selfish and glib moves on with no regrets. 

My favorite character in the book is Nick Carraway. Nick Carraway is incredibly selfless and does not even touch being superficial. He helps others and follows what he believes is best. Even at times you may see moments of doubt he very seldomly feels that what he has contributed he should regret ever. While going through the book I saw much growth in Nick and him being the sort of wall flower of the group while still in the mix of this rich superficial society. It became clear to me that Nick was the only rational person between Gatsby and Daisy. I say this because Tom is trying to releive his suspicions while Gatsby is blinded by love and Jordan is the long time friend of Daisy who would never betray the wishes of one of her comrades. Nick being poor made him more humble and empathetic to the situations of others. Which was why he was such a joy to be around for these rich people. When everything had unfolded and was said and done he realized that the only thing he could do to benefit himself was leave, and so he did. 

What people should take away from this book is many things. The Great Gatsby is complex and has many ideas using symbolism. What I think people should take away is whatever they find. The book has an amazing take on materialism and love. How people appreciate one another and what others mean to them. They should take away the idea that people should not consume who you are and your takes on life no matter what your feelings are for them. You should be true to yourself and if someone comes into your life and uses you to accommodate those needs and tries to take who you are away from you do not let them. Another reason why Nick Carraway is my favorite character is because I can relate to some of his experiences throughout the book. Even though Nick proceeds to have connections and relations with all of the people that he is around he is still a wall flower in many ways. He lives in different conditions that in some ways allow him to be the most observant character in the book. Aside from being the narrator you get a sense of how Nick feels misplaced sometimes in these rich higher class environments. I can relate with that because I find myself in the position of a wall flower apart of the action many times. Watching the actions and reactions of others and how they interact. A lot of times I can see these things because I have different experiences than they have. I used to be the only person of color in my old group of friends, and while I enjoyed being around them there were many times that I had felt uncomfortable because of certain customs and normalities that I partake in my everyday life that they do not. 

I loved The Great Gatsby for many reasons. The writing is absolutely gorgeous and gives you amazing visuals of where you are and how people are acting you legitimately feel as if you are in 1922 with these characters and high class people. I also enjoyed the story and plot of it. So many things are so far below the surface that one has to think and ponder much of what is going on. The issues and conflicts that come up are not those of normal people but non the less they are interesting. I would recommend this book to someone who enjoys love stories and appreciates literature and creative writing very much. Also to people who would be interested in the times of the 1920’s. This book having been written in that time frame gives you a vivid perspective of what is was like back then, how the people thought, dressed, interacted with one another. Whether interaction took place at parties or a golf game or a small dinner how these wealthy privileged people used their time.



For the creative portion of my project I had decided to create a portrait of The Great Gatsby cover. With the night sky and at the bottom the lights of Gatsby’s parties. The face in the sky I decided to interpret as that of Daisy’s, and instead of having her hover over the night sky I decided to have it look like her face had ripped the sky apart with her face to represent Gatsby’s desperation to find Daisy. 
Photo on 6-6-13 at 10.08 PM
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Element Project

Inquiry - I used inquiry to figure out what element I had and what I was going to draw because I was confused in deciding.

Research - I used research to figure out what I needed to know about my element. I had to find out what it's in, used for, etc. That's how I figured out what I was going to draw.

Collaboration - I used collaboration when I needed help and gave out help to others. I needed help cutting out my negative space, because it wasn't working out well for me.

Presentation - I used presentation when I had to paint it and choose colors I thought would look nice and then I had to center it to make it look really good and for the most part, I think I did well.

Reflection - I looked at my pictures just to examine and realize, "I did this(:" and then I completed this reflection. 
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Elemental Print: Iron

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Inquiry: When pursuing this assignment, I asked a question. How can I portray the element Iron in the most creative way possible while maintain it's value? The next steps I took extended from here then on.

Research: Having no prior knowledge to what gives Iron it's flare, I began research on the element. I figured out the origin of the element, it's components and uses. I found out that iron is within the core of the earth. The electromagnetic is (fe). I used this in combination to project the earthly elements and electric elements of iron.

Collaboration: I collaborated with my peers after sketching three different designs for Iron. They each gave their feedback and helped me decide which would be the best to officially create.

Presentation: The sketches I created were than carved in linoleum, matted, and printed. I presented the matted and printed versions to my class/teacher. These were then hanged in order for the rest of the student body to see as well.

Reflection: If I were to do this project again, I would carve neater and wider lines in the linoleum in order to give the print a fresh and matted look. Overall, this project was a lot of fun, considering I had prior experience with cutting linoleum. I learned about a new element and it's value in the world, while also using it in an artistic manner in order create something new. 

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ELEMENTary Block Printing (Scandium, 21)

Inquiry
Throughout the project, whenever I didn't understand how to do something or couldn't find an art supply, I would ask Ms. Hull for help.  Luckily, every time it was pretty easy to understand!

Research
When we started the project, I spent an entire period researching my element, and its uses.  It was a little harder than I expected, since my element is pretty rare!

Collaboration
Me and Avery helped each other with our research in the first couple of classes.  We also helped each other with the carving process, and picking out which sketch to print.  

Presentation
When I was matting my block print, I made sure to be careful with my measurements.  I also tried to carve and paint my linoleum as carefully as I could. 

Reflection
     This project was really fun for me.  First of all, I thought it was a really cool way to incorporate science and learning into art, and I just thought it was a fun project, with the right amount of challenge. 

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Negative Space Reflection

  A. What is negative space (explain this concept to a fourth grader that has never heard of it)
    B. Explain how you found negative space in 1. your cut out?, 2. in your still life drawing?

    C. Why does it help an artist to see in negative space?

    D. Does seeing in negative space enhance drawings, why or why not?


ANSWERS
A. Negative space is the space around an object in a drawling.

B. In my cut out I did find negative space throughout by mixing the colors up in different spaces, but as the final product it didn't come out as I wanted to. For the still life I saw the negative space between the shapes and the outside part of the shapes. My favorite still life is the one with the two stools.

C. It helps an artist to see negative by knowing where any objects intersect with each other. 

 D. Yes it does because the more negative space you see the better you enhance your details of the objects you try to draw.
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Slaugherhouse-Five Book Review

Slaughterhouse-Five is a American classic that combines science fiction, philosophy, and a haunting recount of World War II, written by Kurt Vonnegut and published in 1969. The story revolves around the bombing of the German city Dresden by Americans in World War II, a bomb that caused more destruction and fatalities than the bomb on Hiroshima. Kurt Vonnegut was a prisoner of war in World War II and witnessed the bombing of Dresden first hand from the basement of Schlachthof fünf - Slaughterhouse-five. 

The book begins in first person in the perspective of Kurt Vonnegut. He is visiting an old friend from the war, Bernard V. O’Hare, and they are reminiscing about the war. Vonnegut mentions that he is trying to write a book about the bombing of Dresden. O’Hare’s wife says that he should name is book the Children’s Crusade, because she believes that the war is talked about like it was a great gallant fight fought by heroes, but it was actually the gory slaughter of children sent to war. That dialogue sets the stage for the book in discussing the meaningless of war, and, the meaningless of life itself. Vonnegut goes on to think to himself about the fluidity and intricacies of time, a theme carried throughout the rest of the book. He then introduces Billy Pilgrim, a boring man from a boring town with a boring life who becomes unstuck in time. 

The story of Billy Pilgrim is not a linear one. It begins with Billy old and senile in his death bed, and then he awakens on his wedding day, and then to the war, and then to his birth and then to his death. Billy’s story is centered around two different parts of his life; the bombing of Dresden, and Billy’s life on the planet Tralfamadore. Through the repetition of phrases, random anecdotes, science fiction, and history, Kurt Vonnegut uses the life of Billy Pilgrim to convey his own confusions about the meaning and the meaninglessness of existence and what it means to be a human being.

Billy Pilgrim floats through time with no start, no end, and no purpose. Aimless and lost, Billy does not feel like he has a solid, down-to-earth impact anywhere, and doubts the significance of his own existence. I related to Billy’s uncertainty. I, too, have questioned who I am, and what the meaning of my existence is. Do I matter? I am significant? Will I have an impact? The philosophy Billy learns on Tralfamdore teaches him that no one is ever truly dead, as they are alive in every other moment at the same time. He learns every moment happened, is happening, and always will happen the same exact way, as it is “structured that way”. Billy raises more relatable life questions I too brood over sometimes. What happens when you die? Do I have a predetermined destiny? If I am simply a compilation of memories than who will I be when no one is left to remember?

Various other characters are introduced in different moments of Billy’s life. There are his wife and his children and his war friends and fellow war prisoners. There is Eliot Rosewater, another man in a mental hospital with Billy. Montana Wildhack, the hollywood actress in the Tralfamadorian zoo exhibit with Billy. And of course, Kilgore Trout, a science fiction novelist no one has ever heard of. My favorite character, or set of characters, where the English soldiers living in the heart of a Russian war camp. They had befriended the Russian guards and recieved extra food and provisions. The Englishmen created a happy and structured life in the center of chaos and captivity and destruction. That contrast, and the recognition of the human ability to create lemonade out of any lemons, was strikingly beautiful.

Slaughterhouse-Five is hauntingly well written and is a book that, as Life Magazine remarked, “a funny book at which you are not permitted to laugh, a sad book without tears, a tale told in a slaughterhouse.” Although the story progression in the book is not linear, Kurt Vonnegut is able to create a sense of continuity through his writing styles and his repetition. Vonnegut takes advantage of the simplicity of the human brain and how easily we can make connections. For example, in the beginning of the book, Vonnegut explains that at the end of a massacre, all you can hear are the birds, and they sound like “poo-tee-weet”. The last line in the book is “poo-tee-weet”, telling the reader that the book was a story of a massacre and a a story of death. The reader knows, even though Vonnegut did not tell. Kurt Vonnegut is a master of words and a master of the mind, and his book is a masterpiece.

I would recommend this book for anyone who likes be intellectually engaged while reading. Anyone who likes science fiction, World War II, classic literature, or anyone who is looking for a short and satisfying read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I think you could too.

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My creative piece is a collage of many different repeated phrases in the book. The most repeated phrase is "so it goes", which is written after any sentence or paragraph about someone's death. Because it represents death, it is written in black. The green paper and marker color represents alien or science fiction involvement. Orange represents Billy Pilgrim's confusion. Pink represents love. The shape of the blurb also says something about the themes repeated in Slaughterhouse-five, giving a abstract summary of everything to book covers.
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Q4 Art Blog

Starting art class I was thinking to myself how much I couldn't draw, but then Ms Hull told me that I could. She told me that everybody can do art but in different types of ways like drawing, writing, painting, etc. So I started out drawing little things like cartoons and I knew right there that that was my strength. Throughout the year I continued to draw cartoons and different stuff. Last Quarter I tried shading but that didn't work out to well but at least I tried. I loved this art class this year because I love Ms Hull and she is one of my favorite teachers at SLA. She was helpful and I could go to her about anything. For the 4th Quarter I was going to do a painting but that was kind of out of my little bubble so I just decided to do a couple more drawings and reflect on it. Other than that I had a great year in art. 
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Element Project

​Inquiry- We used inquiry to figure out what number represent our element and had to find out how we can represent it in a drawing.
Research-I used research to help me figure out a object that would help me represent my element. I searched for things that contained my element in them.
Collaboration- I worked together with my peers to figure out how to center my print on the matt. I talked and used trial/error to come up with a way to do so with my classmates.
Presentation- We has to make our print look presentable and clean so I made sure that my paint was clean and that it was correctly centered onto the matting paper.
Reflection- I reflected by talking about how each core value was implemented in my process to create my print. I also had to make sure that what I was doing looked good and correctly done.
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Element Project- 17 Chlorine

Inquiry - Research - Collaboration - Presentation - Reflection

To do this project you have to do a research. I found some websites about negative space. You need to know what is negative space and how you look at something. After you know what it is you should try and draw some pictures. You use linoleum to cut out and form an image. Me and my friends helped each other because sometimes we were confused. You have to be careful when you cut out linoleum to not hurt yourself. Then you print your image on the paper with the ink. 



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Element 37: Rubidium

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Inquiry: We used inquiry, because we had to figure out which element matched our number. We also had to use our creativity to come up with a quality drawing.

Research: Research was a big part of this project. We had to research a lot of background information about our element, such as it's uses, how it was discovered, and who discovered it.

Collaboration: There was part of the project that Ms. Hull didn't tell us how to do. We had to collaborate with others to figure how to correctly complete that part.

Presentation: We had to make our prints look presentable, by centering them on another piece of paper. We also had to make sure that the lines were straight.

Reflection: In order to reflect, we had to make sure that our prints were complete. We have to reflect on how our process went, and even before we finished, you can reflect on if what you are doing is right.

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Negative Space

a. Negative space: Let's say you have a picture of a chair with a red background. Negative space is everything that is not the actual drawing of the chair. It is the background; all the red. 
b. I found the negative space by starting with the half of a tree. Within the tree there were certain shapes you needed to cut out. What I did was take the parts I had cut out of the tree shape and lay them opposite of the original cut out. This made it look like on one side there was a hollow tree and on the other was the missing piece of the tree. Then I took 2 pieces of paper and laid half of the pieces on 1 sheet of paper and half on the other. Then I cut out all the pieces and kept all of them so when I put the pieces together it would reflect the opposite. In my still life drawings I just outlined the object and shaded in the negative space, as that was the easiest and best outcome. 
c. It helps artists to see a negative space because it can achieve balance and symmetry in a design. It makes the artist look at the picture as a whole; not just focusing on the single object.
d. Seeing negative space does enhance drawings because it gives you depth and perception of the entire drawing. It balances out the picture more and makes it more precise. 
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Independent Reading- Paper Towns

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Paper Towns is a book that before they die, everyone should read. While it isn’t a book that makes you think, it has good morals and life lessons incorporated into it. It incorporates love and mystery and a good old road trip, with lots of humor.

The book starts off with Quentin Jacobsen, a senior who has been in love with his neighbor since he was little. Margo Roth Speiglman. They grew apart as they grew up so they don’t talk as much anymore. Then one night, out of the blue, Margo knocks on his window and takes him around the same town they live in to pull pranks on people she doesn’t like. The next morning, Q thinks that she will acknowledge him at least in the hallways but he finds out that she is not there. She ran away. Again. Q knows about her runaway stories and she often leaves clues behind, to make it a fun adventure for everyone. Since Q just spent the night with Margo, he believes that she must have left clues for him. She did. He follows her clues to abandoned buildings, pseudovisions, and finally a made-up town in New York. He finds this clue on Graduation Day and of course he has to drag his friends into coming along with him on a 22 hour road trip. When they finally find her, she acts completely different than what they thought that she would. The ending is for you to find out, I won’t spoil it.

I can relate to Q because I find that I think I know people but I don’t really know them. He finds that people have different views of someone but they are completely wrong about that person. I feel like I learned that you shouldn’t be satisfied with just accepting the mask that the person puts up, you should try to look behind it and see if the person needs help with becoming who they are. I also think that a lot of people who seem like they have a great life and a perfect face, can really be wearing a mask and hiding their other self. The weaknesses in this book are very slim but I would hope for John Green to write a sequel or an epilogue because you want to know more after the end of the book. A strength of this book is the way they mark the chapters. In the hours of the road trip, they mark the time by saying 21st hour or 18th hour. Also John Green split up the book into 3 different sections which makes the reader connect different things that they are learning about in the book. Overall this book helped me connect to other people and helped become a better friend.


Click here for the creative piece.


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