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Element Project

Inquiry- I was assigned the element arsenic for this art project and was told to discover the different properties of it.I looked on the internet and found different interesting facts about my element.

Research- I looked throughout the internet and found that the element I was chosen to study was a dangerous chemical that none the less was used in rat poison and cigarette.

Collaboration- I had different people at my biochemistry group help me look over my work. I had most help from my table partner Tomi.

Presentation- In the end I chose different colors that represented either danger, poison, or the colors arsenic was. 

Reflection- In the end I found that this project took a lot of accuracy and time. The amount of focus you need will shift throughout the project for study to crafting.   
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Double Dutch - IRP Project

The title of the book I read was called Double Dutch by Sharon M. Draper.  She is mainly an author for teen books.  Sharon M. Draper is an award winning author. She has been on the New York Times bestsellers list for the book “ Copper Sun”. Sharon M. Draper is also a Coretta Scott King award winner for the books such as “Copper Sun” in 2007” and ” We beat in the Street”.  Also  in 1998 she wrote “Forged by Fire” which was also an award winner for the Coretta Scott King award.  

This book is about a girl named Delia Douglas. She has a passion for double dutch. Delia, her friends Yolanda and Charlene attended on competing in the World double dutch Championship. The World double dutch championship is when kids all over the world from places such Taiwan, Germany and Canada face off in a battle to win first place. Delia practices at the YMCA gym with Yolanda. Delia notices a boy name Randy, he’s in her class. they both have one thing in common.

As they interact with each other inside and outside of school they gain a bond with each other.  Never the less to say that neither one of the has exposed their secret to one another. The conflict in the story is person Vs. Person. I believe this because in the story you Have a boy named Randy who would be her potential boyfriend and a Girl named Delia. They both share the same interest. Each one has a secret that neither are willing to share upfront. But in the end they conquer their fears and give in. Randy discovers Delia’s secret, she can’t read. Delia discovers randy’s secret, His dad was missing for weeks and haven’t heard from him since.

Over all my favorite character is Delia because she shows courage. From this book you will take away that “ the road remains wide open, while your dreams are alive . Only fear can block the way. “ (   "The road remains wide open . . . rainbow by halfpasteleven on Etsy." Etsy - Your place to buy and sell all things handmade, vintage, and supplies. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 June 2013. < . )  Fear has two meanings 1.) Forget Everything And run or 2.) Face Everything And Rise. The choice is yours.

I do not believe I can relate to this book because I never really Had a something that I was ashamed of. Yes, I have had fears but I had conquer them. For example I used to be scared of getting on rollercoasters. Then when I first got on one I was so scared.  but afterwards I felt the rush and now i’m not scared  anymore. So Actually I can conclude I can relate.

Overall i thought the book was Excellent. Strong points of the book would be how the characters were portrayed. Each character created the right amount of suspense. You could also understand and identify the characters personality. However it lacks in humor. Setting a tone for a book is very important because a reader will pick up the theme or message when everything is properly balanced.

I would highly recommend this book. Especially  to teens how do not read enough because if you set time aside for just reading for 20 minutes a day. I assure you that you will feel glad that you did it.

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This link below is the teaching of double dutch !

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Element Project- Zinc

​I really enjoyed this project. It was interesting to be able to combine art with science, and it was also fun because there were so many different kinds of art involved in this project. I learned a lot about zinc. My sketch was based off of something called philosophers wool, which is the name for zinc that has been melted down and reformed, this is because whrn the zinc is set on fire, the fire appears green and purple. The five core values at SLA can be very easily shown in this project:

Inquiry- I asked questions like, What are some interesting facts about Zinc? How can I show Zinc in an interesting way?

Research- I researched zinc in order to gain a good understanding of what it is, how it was discovered, what it does and why it is important. Then I found interesting and fun facts about zinc.

Collaboration- I collaborated with my classmates in multiple ways. First of all, we helped each other to come up with ideas for out sketches. Then we worked together to help out people that were struggling with the linoleum block carving. Finally we helped each other to figure out how to properly matt the sketch on the construction paper. 

Presentation- Presentation is here on SLATE. The sketches are being presented to one another through the blog post where everyone can see the sketches. 

Reflection- I learned a lot throughout this project. I found it to be a great way to combine art and science. I feel that I did a good job on the project, if I was going to change something, I would carve the features deeper on the linoleum block next time so that the print appears better.

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Are you ready for the Holidaze?

Drama High Super Edition: Holidaze is the 9th book of The Drama High series written by L.Divine. Divine is a young author who was born and raised in California by her grandparents. Many people didn’t believe in Divine’s writing. She wrote for her schools paper, blogs and many more. It wasn’t until 2002 she self published and wrote her first book  and began selling and/or giving it away to anyone who was interested. By 2003-2004 she baecame an agent and publisher for the first book. Ms. Divine formed L. Divine, Inc. She attended UCLA, earning a B.A. in African American Studies (1999) and an M.A. in African American Studies (2000, specializing in Educational Psychology). She now lives in Atlanta with her two kids one son and one daughter. L.Divine's picture is shown at the bottoms. 

Jayd Jackson is a 16 year old who is the main character of the book. Her story starts when she goes back to school to South Bay High aka Drama High. She lives with her grandmother who is one of the many Louisiana conjure women which means she has powerful powers from Louisiana gods. Jayd has a lot of drama in her life because her grandmother is a conjurer and her next door neighbor is a evil voodoo queen who wants to take Jayd’s powers for her own. The drama is worse in school. It’s close to Valentines Day, and love is in the air sort of speak. Jayd has to face the fact that her crew is falling apart and her frenemy Misty is getting help from her evil next door neighbor. Jayd will need more than her inner strength. She'll need the help of her gifted ancestors, to save herself and her crew. 

I can relate to this book because it seems like my life is always filled with drama. My mom thinks it’s because I don't mind my own business which is somewhat the case, but at the same time people tell me everything and then it just goes downhill from picking sides or friends being mad at the other. At home it’s not as bad because my grandmother isn’t my main care taker. I live with my mom and she’s around when I need her. My relationship with my dad is like Jayd’s. I can’t say I hate my dads side of the family because I don’t really know them but my dad wasn’t really around he was in Ohio for 13 out of 15 years of my life. Sometimes he does try to be a dad but it doesn’t work out the way I want it to and it’s the same way with her dad. 

Another thing is Jayd cares a lot about her grades and friends. Like with me my school grades are a lot more important than buying new things or the new show on tv. It’s hard for Jayd because she also has a soft side for her friends. She feels like she always have to fix things because she’s the only mature on of the group. No one else wants to grow up and try to fix things. When her to main concerns start to mess up it becomes too stressful to think and you just want to crawl back into the bed. I can relate to that, I really do care for my friends if one of them is hurt I’m always there but it seems like no one there for me. It’s the same way for Jayd the only person who understands all her stress is her grandmother and ex boyfriend who is in his own world. 

Over all Holidaze was a good /interesting book. I’m a sucker for drama books, mysteries occasionally I like horror and romantic books. I love the Drama High series once I start reading the book I can’t get enough of it. I have actually recommended the series to two of my friends who have also enjoyed the books. I want to keep reading the series until I finish all the books. The one thing I think can be cut back on is Jayd’s powers. I think it’s great she has them but her and her grandmothers traditions go against my religion. Sometimes it’s a lot to read about and it’s the same thing, I want something fresh. That little problem still doesn’t stop me from reading my book. When I’m done the series I’m going to wait for the 16th book in the meantime I am going to be reading The Other Boleyn Girl, I will be writing a book review for that so stay tuned. Book cover is shown below

I recommend this book for people teens and young adults of the age 13-20. Adults can read it because my mom enjoy the books too but it reaches out to kids in high school. This can be for both genders but it seems like girls would understand the drama that’s in the book. To boys it would probably be silly the stuff they fight about in the book. Overall this book is good for people who can tolerate cliffhangers and don’t mind reading more than one book to get to the ending. It’s a romantic drama for teens. If you give it a rating it’s rated P.G 14 it has it’s moments where it gets graphic with violence and the language. It’s a book that will keep you reading because you want to hope that Jayd will get a better life outside of South Bay High. The first book in the Drama High series is The Fight.

For my creative project I made a prezi that shows how Jayd overcame her obstacles that kept her from her mission. 

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Negative Space Blog

What is negative space?
Negative space is the space around and in between shapes. If you draw the outline of a shape, without adding detail inside of it, you are drawing negative space.

How did you find negative space?
I found negative space in my cut-out based on what was shaded and what wasn't shaded in the template. Everything that was shaded represented the negative space. I found the negative space in the drawing by just drawing the outline of the shapes and not drawing the lines inside of it. I basically just drew what the shadow would look like.

Why does it help an artist to see in negative space?
It helps an artist to see in negative spae so that they can get a different perspective on their art. That way, they can think of new creative ways to draw the same thing in a different way.

Does seeing in negative space enhance drawings?
Seeing in negative space does enhance drawings because it gives you two perspectives to look at. On one hand, you're looking at the objects themselves, and on the other hand you're looking at everything around them. This way, the drawing looks even more sophisticated and if you do negative and positive space in one drawing it looks more abstract.
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Can You See, "The Full Spectrum?"

The Full Spectrum

Have you ever observed your life? Looked at anyone else's? Well, it's time to take a view of, "The Full Spectrum." The book, "The Full Spectrum," is by several different authors, edited by David Levithan and Billy Merrell. The book is about a, "new generation of writing about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and other identities." The best seller rank for, "The Full Spectrum," ranks 847,611 on  

The book, "The Full Spectrum," is an amazing book. It is a book based on short stories about teens. This book tells stories about the experience about teenagers who experience problems about different situations. Mainly, it focuses on the sexuality. There are several stories told that catch my eye. All are interesting and each have their own mind. Every new story told is a way for each author to express themselves. Most of the stories are conflicts having to do with person versus self, and person versus society. Interestingly enough, it seems like they all overcome.

The main characters are very interesting and different, but all seem to have the same thing in common. Most of their problems stem from either family or how society view them. The stories are of teens who are gay and need a way to express themselves. They get this done by telling their story. My favorite memoir is by Stefanie Davis and it is called, “ All you need is love.” This story is about a girl witnesses her family adjusting to her sister becoming a transgender. She doesn’t know whose side to take. She wants to please her mom and dad, who hates the idea, but she also wants to support her sister. It catches my eye because this is a real life thing and it makes me sad. Everyone does need love no matter what. Her sister was denied that, but she stuck by her side.

I related to, “The Full Spectrum,” in so many ways. I know people who have gone through the same experiences. It is both sad, but also interesting because you get to see and watch people overcome their struggles, but they also get mistreated along the way. Not only that, but I saw my old best friend go through this second hand. No I did not go through it, but I was there for her. This made it hard for the both of us, but we both were able to become aware of what the situation was.  My own self? I have experienced some of these things, but I will not go any further than that.

In all honesty, I loved the entire book. Every story I read had me either in tears or laughing the entire time. It was so delicious to read these stories and get to see these things. If I could, I would not change anything about this book. I wouldn’t because if I did, it would not be the same stories. It shouldn’t even need to be changes. I would recommend this to anyone. The entire book was good. I don’t care who you are, you would relate to this book. It was great, so if you’re looking for something interesting, “The Full Spectrum,” is the book.

The Secret: My Secret

My Secret,

The One that holds me back,

The One that no one knows,

Except the friends I’ve told.

Not even my mother,

Nope not at all.

I feel that this secret is not me,

But, yet a phase.

One that will go away,

Just a feeling in the moment.

But, the feeling, it overshadows me.

Keeping me in the dark and not wanting to come out.

My thoughts, they’re mines,

But it takes over when the oppurtunity presents,

When it presents, it wins,

All the time.

No, I am not ready to accept my secret, 

The Lie that I tell myself everyday.

You probably no by now,

But, I am still not ready to share.

To me my secret is an untold truth,

But a lie to myself being.

It may be true,

But, right now, I am not ready to accept, “The Secret.”

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AJohnson Process Paper

                For my senior capstone, I conducted a research project on water hyacinth; an invasive plant species from the Amazon. Choosing this project came naturally to me. I knew that during college I would want to study environmental science or civil engineering. While at the Environmental Protection Agency, a coworker suggested I look into the plant species that habitat the Delaware River. After researching the Delaware and invasive plant species, I decided this would be the perfect project.

                My capstone addresses the SLA core values in many ways. For one, collaboration was a major, if not integral, portion of my capstone. It was often necessary to reach out to coworkers to give feedback on my proposal as well as research paper. I also had to gain the backing of a knowledgeable team. With a great team behind me, it was easy to move forward with conducting our research. Another very important piece of this project was research. Countless hours were spent understanding the water hyacinth plant, removal and disposal methods, and its anatomy. This information was vital to properly conducting the project. Understanding the growth pattern of water hyacinth along with the tidal patterns of the Delaware made conducting research easier. In terms of the value of presentation and reflection, a great deal of attention was paid to the detail within the research paper. After reading some other published research papers on water hyacinth and its applications, I made sure that my paper was read over by many pairs of eyes. This ensured the quality of the project was evident in its documentation.

                To complete this capstone, four steps were followed. Research, comprehension, application, reflection. These steps were used countless times during the process of my capstone. Research was used to layer the basic understanding of all elements incorporated into my capstone. From understanding scientific measurements of the biology of a river to using probes for water quality testing. This research was often revised and revisited. Comprehension played a key role in the project. After conducting all the necessary research, the team got together to ensure that all information was not only relevant, but that it could also help us to direct our study areas to those in which finding/identifying water hyacinth would be possible. This step was also used to devise the course maps for the project. Application was the manifestation of our research and planning. We took everything that we learned and went into the field to collect our data. Over the course of two days, the team managed to visit 6 different sites. Three sites were on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River while the other 3 were on the Pennsylvania side. These sites were chosen after careful deliberation with the project team. We ensured that all sites had a relative proximity as well as being easy to navigate to. Reflection was the final step in completing this capstone. Reflecting on the team’s work, it was evident that our research could have a long term impact in the quality of our river. After conducting the project, it was evident that we needed to reach out to other agencies to ensure that the right people were aware that water hyacinth may have spread to Pennsylvania as well as New Jersey.

                One major obstacle that presented the project team early on were the effects of the sequestration. Due to the sequestration, it was unclear at times whether or not the research project would be able to move forward. Another factor that affected the project was the equipment needed. The boat that was set to be used had not yet undergone its inspection and checklist. For this reason, the course map was redrawn to allow us to visit sites in which we knew water hyacinth could exist while having access to the shore. In the end, these two factors caused the project to be conducted from shore instead of using the boat. During the course of the project, there were often many a time in which other knowledge bases were needed. Often, I tapped in to my coworkers. They proved invaluable with a plethora of information about conducting research projects, writing a clear research paper, and quality assurance standards to use while conducting research.

                I am most proud of the experience given by this capstone. Most students in high school do not get to conduct their very own research project. Having the experience of conducting and leading a research team for a project was very exciting. It showed me a lot about collaboration as well as effective use and consolidation of resources. When we found that we could not use a specific program or tool, we quickly turned gear to find another way of doing things. This project has also taught me a lot about environmental science as a major. It gave me a deeper understanding to the things that environmental scientist and engineers do on a daily basis. If I could do this capstone over again, I would change the timespan of the project. Having the research conducted in two days was sufficient for the scale of this project however, with a greater timespan, we could most likely get more locations surveyed.

                My capstone has made SLA a better place because of the people that I have inspired. When underclassmen would ask me about my capstone, they were instantly intrigued that I got to lead and conduct a research project. This also allowed me to network people to bring about more resources and materials for science learning at SLA. 

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Element Project

​Inquiry: I used Inquiry to find some amazing facts about my element. Also to actually find my element. It helped me find my inspiration for what I wanted to do.

Research: I found amazing facts online. I also found the signature of Hans Christian Oersted who is a big factor in the founding of aluminum.

Collaboration: I collaborated with Lizzie to see if the signature would work well. Also she helped me draw the signature. 

Presentation: The colors of the print collaborate very well together. The brown from the background allows the colors to stand out even mor. I like the way it turned out.

Reflection: It turned out awesome for me but I wish I could of added more colors. I think I should of use contrasting colors.
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            Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma (MTC) originates from mutations in calcitonin-producing parafollicular C cells of the thyroid, is a rare malignancy, accounting for 3-4% of all thyroid carcinomas. It occurs in a hereditary form (HMTC, 25%) or in a sporadic form (SMTC, 75%). The prognosis for patients with MTC is poor, as the tumor metastasizes at early stages; and the only curative therapeutic option so far is radical surgery. Genetic analysis helps identify inherited cases at a stage where prophylactic surgery can be offered to carriers of such mutations to prevent the disease. This approach may also be used to determine better treatment options for patients who are already diagnosed with MTC.

The goal of this project was to develop a comprehensive mutational panel for the detection of clinically relevant mutations in MTC samples. A total of 143 mutations (nucleic acid variations) in 8 human genes were selected from numerous papers and public databases and included into the MTC mutational panel. The selection criteria were based on the coding mutations (mutations that occur in the coding area of the genes) that were reported to occur in MTC patients and considered functionally relevant. Some of the mutations included into the MTC mutational panel (such as BRAF gene V600E mutation) were also described in other types of thyroid cancer, but most of the mutations were unique to MTC (such as all RET gene mutations). The entire assay design was carried out using Sequenom's online design tools (ProxSNP and PreXTEND ( and Assay Design software (v. 3.1)).

The final file comprised from 115 assays corresponding to all 143 mutations included into the MTC panel. This file will be further processed using the SEQUENOM® Mass-ARRAY iPLEX® platform for DNA genotyping of clinical samples by the cancer research scientists at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania

            Save for Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma (ATC), MTC is the second most aggressive type of thyroid cancer. Hereditary mutations that could lead to HMTC need to be found as rapidly as possible, as the onset age is only 5. This Mutational Panel is one of the best ways to diagnose any type of MTC, be it hereditary or sporadic, and give a small beam of hope to the poor person diagnosed with the mutation.

            The decision to make this panel was a hard one, as at the time that I started it, I was going to take pre-calculus in Drexel University. It was an insane amount of work, but I managed to compile the list of mutations over the summer, and continue the analysis during autumn. The actually write-up was finished much later, when I decided that I could use that project as my capstone.

            Simply put, the project was not easy. It took me a long time to understand the basics, and even a longer time to be able to manipulate small details, but in the end, the project was amazing. I have to say, that out of all the work I did while I was in SLA, this capstone project is the one I am proud of the most!

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a very intriguing book. This book is a coming of age novel written in the form of letters. These letters are quite personal and create the illusion of "charlie", the narrators/ main character's allias, telling the reader his entire high school life. The picture I made is representational to the life of a wallflower. If you are a wallflower, by definition, you are a person who, is awkward, shy or excluded. My creative piece is a picture a symbolic view on people who are wallflowers. Charlie is also a wall flower so this picture is mainly directed towards him. The bear represents youth, and a traumatizing experience that happened during his youth (I won't say just because of spoilers) explained towards the ending of the book. The floor-mat represents the feeling of comfort and the feeling of home, so this represents shyness. In the context of how this relates specifically to Charley; Charley was called a wallflower actually at a party, where he was called out in front of everybody for being shy and a good listener. I added the tell all your secrets ----- wallflower inside of a picture frame because you could tell all your secrets to Charlie, and that's how Charlie was recognized as a wallflower. 

Also in my creative piece I have four people hanging by nooses on a wall. I tried to incorporate a more litteral depiction of the term wallflower, and for a person to be a wallflower. The depiction of the term is also in a sense non-litteral, by it being pushed slightly towards a creative edge while still incorporating a meaning. Each flower pot on the heads of the drawn characters represents the feeling of shyness and brokenness. Every single flowerpot on their heads are broken, thus representing them being a wallflower. Each of the drawn figures are hung up on the wall by a noose. This noose to head action isn't simply just a dark twisted way to represent wallflowers, by literally hanging them up on a wall (see what I did there?). In the very beginning of the book Charlie's best friend from middle school killed himself, and so I cleverly added that into the whole wallflower depiction by having all of the people I drew hanged. Charlie may have always been a wallflower, even before he introduces himself to us (the reader) the day before his first day of high school; but the death of his friend Michael would really give any person the perks of being a wallflower (I am so clever today). 

The book's setting is in the early 1990's, and is based around the life of Charlie, which is a generic name he gave to us because he doesn't want us to find out who he is. What I got from this novel is that charlie is conceptually writing to us (the reader). Charlie is writing to us because we are good people, and because we didn't sleep with that one girl, that one night, at that one party... because we could have (inside joke from the story). 
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Negative Space Pictures

Felix d'Hermillon​

A. What is negative space (explain this concept to a fourth grader that has never heard of it)
Negative space is space in a drawing that is not necessary.

B. Explain how you found negative space in 1. your cut out?, 2. in your still life drawing?

I found negative space in my cut out by tracing over the picture onto the paper. I found my negative space in my still life drawing by drawing the object first and then shading all of the space around the drawing and then erasing the lines from the drawing.

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

Its helpful for an artist to see in negative space because then it will enhance his sketching skills.

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

Seeing in negative space does enhance drawings because it helps you focus more on the outline sketch first and then you can focus on the details later.

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Hunchback of Notre-Dame

For my final Independent Reading Project I created a children's story. It features thee monkeys, Quamisodo, Clause, and Esleramda. The story is a spin off of the Hunchback of Notre-Dame; more specifically, the theme of assuming one's character by his or her appearance. 

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In the "Author's Note" this is what I wrote: "This story is based on the story Hunchback of Notre-Dame, by Victor Hugo. He is also the author of the world famous musical and movie Lés Miserables. The story is set in Paris in the early 1800s. It is a historical story about Quasimodo, a very handicapped and ugly man; Claude Frollo, his father and the town priest; La Esmeralda, an unconventionally beautiful gypsy street performer; and a number of other men and women who all seem to want something to do with La Esmeralda. The Archdeacon Claude Frollo is a very compassionate and intelligent man who falls into a path of darkness after realizing that he failed to raise Quasimodo (his adopted son) and Jehan (his little brother). Quasimodo works the bells in a beautiful cathedral and becomes deaf; this, among plenty of other attributes, is why nearly everybody despises him. La Esmeralda is a Bohemian gypsy who performs in the streets with her little goat; together they perform mind-blowing tricks (which are believed to be witchcraft by many of the spectators).  Between La Esmeralda and the men of the town there is much personal (especially romantic) conflict. There is also heartbreaking conflict between Claude Frollo and Quasimodo, and the rest of the townspeople; the townspeople treat the men cruelly. This story has many fascinating themes, but the best of them all is to “not judge a book by its cover”. Claude Frollo is a priest so people assume he is sweet and gentle, yet by the time he reaches 40, he is a crooked, horrible and secretive man. On the flipside, Quasimodo does not speak much because he is deaf and only has one eye. He also has a hunchback and walks awkwardly so people assume that he is an alien, mean and wild man. Yet, Quasimodo is a truly genuinely caring person."

Of all of the characters in the story, I could relate most of all to Phoebus, the promiscuous soldier. Don’t get me wrong, I do not relate to him because we are both promiscuous; I can relate to him because when he is among the beautiful, rich and fancy ladies, he feels very uncomfortable, even though he was raised very properly. He feels more comfortable speaking roughly, dressing casually, and interacting with the average people. I went to a private Jewish school for ten years and now that I have finally left, I will always feel out of place with my friends that still go to private Jewish schools. The way Phoebus feels is nearly exactly the same way that I have grown to feel nowadays. It’s not that I have a preference for people who are not “rich and Jewish”, but it’s just simpler and more fun for me to hang out with other kinds of people too.

My favorite character is easily Claude Frollo. Claude Frollo is my favorite character for only two reasons. Firstly, I find it mind-blowing that a person can transform from such a compassionate and eager-to-learn young man to a twisted and impudent man.  He used to study tirelessly at the University; he adopted his younger brother at the age of 16 because their parents had died (due to the plague); and on top of that, he took in the discarded child, Quasimodo, and raised him and loved him as his own. Then, once his boys grow up, he turns to studying alchemy in the tall towers of the cathedral, Notre-Dame. Now he rarely emerges from his workspace. When people try to speak to him, he is often unresponsive or just rude and frightening. The only exception to this kind of behavior is Quasimodo; I think this is because they both receive hostility from the people of Paris. The second reason that I enjoy Claude Frollo so much is because he is so complex and unbelievable intelligent. 

Finally, I think this book is fantastic, and I would strongly recommend it to anybody who is willing to deal with the somewhat tedious writing style of Victor Hugo. The only (minor) issue that I found with this book is that it had a bit too much historical narration for my taste. At the beginning I felt that it was tough to read through all of the non-fiction, but I did it anyway because I really wanted to get to the rest of the story. It was undoubtedly worth the strain. In conclusion, this is a marvelous story filled with intricately built characters as well as a beautifully written description of the setting. This book is great for anybody who is prepared and eager to read the story despite the slightly tiresome historical reports.  

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Element Project

Felix d'Hermillon
Art - Element Project

Inquiry - I used inquiry by figuring out what I should draw.
Research - I used research in this project by researching what I should represent my element with. What symbol I should use to represent Phosphorous.
Collaboration - I used collaboration in this project by working with my surroundings really well, my peers.
Presentation - I used presentation in my project by making my art presentable. I put matt around it.
Reflection - I reflect that I enjoyed this project and I think that I did ok.

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Independent Reading Project

           Ned Vizzini’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story is a deft, eloquent, and riotously funny novel about a not so humorous topic – the crippling effects of depression.  Inspired by the author’s own experience during his five-day stay in a New York psychiatric hospital, this book was published in 2006.  He was only twenty-five.  A major Hollywood film of the same name staring Keir Gilchrist, Dana DeVestern, and Zach Galifianakis was released four years later.

            It’s Kind of a Funny Story tells the story of Craig Gilner, a driven teenage growing up in Manhattan.  Ever since he was young child, he knew exactly what he wanted to be - he was going to be the president of America.  He is a conscientious worker; and because of his ambition and this hard work he is able to get admitted into Manhattan’s most exclusive school and labor intensive, the Executive Pre-Professional High School, which is full of some of the most precocious children of his age.  Even though Craig convinces himself that this was what he wants, he finds that in this new school he is struggling to just keep up with the rest of the pack.  His best friend, Aaron, on the other hand, got into the school without even trying.  

            Craig feels anguish as everything starts to pile up on him - schoolwork, extracurriculars needed to get into a decent college, social obligations, and guilt because of what he is putting his family through.  Could he possibly get into a decent college or even make it through high school?  This anxiety continues to grow in cycles until his life  gets turbulent and it becomes to be too much to bear.  Craig becomes suicidal.  Fortunately, Craig has the good sense to check himself into a psychiatric hospital before it is too late.  Here he finally feels safe.  There is a sense of stability here that anchors him to reality, something he was unable to find in the outside world.  He feels in control.  The hospital is his bulwark against his depression.  In this environment he is finally able to piece everything together, to brood constructively.  He connects to the others in the ward because even though they are of all different ages and have different troubles in their pasts they are all going through rough times and are able to help each other get through them.  

            In the hospital he meets many people who proved to be true friends, the most prominent of which is Noel.  Noel has the same problem as Craig, which is revealed to us by the scars on her cheek. Both Craig and Noel are teenagers struggling under the weight of adolescence and the expectations and labels that society has placed on them.  This is a bond that cannot be broken.  It is what makes this story so powerful in addition to being witty.

             This is an excellent book for teenage readers trying to make sense out of what it means to be a unique and complex individual and how we can navigate between our expectations and reality.  Life can be fraught with danger and pretty scary at times, but if Craig Gilner can tame his pernicious demons, I think that we, too, should be able give it a good shot. If we can accomplish this self-discovery with half the humor of the narrator, we will be doubly successful.  The novel feels like a genuine rendition of a teenager’s experience. This made the characters and emotions relatable giving the book an extremely powerful message. Other than modifying some annoying colloquial phrases that seem forced, I wouldn’t change a thing.  If you like heavy topics dealt with in a light-hearted and witty way It’s Kind of a Funny Story  is a must read.  I for one strongly recommend it.



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IRP: Speak By Laurie Halse Anderson

For my last Independent Reading Project for Mrs. Dunn I read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. This book was first published in 1999. Laurie Halse Anderson was awarded many awards for her books and this book as well. The awards were Printz Honor Book Award, a National Book Award nomination, Golden Kite award, the Edgar Allan Poe Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.Speak touches on many problems in a teenagers life. Struggles with school, friends, parents and pernicious rumors. Throughout Speak you find that being an outcast isn’t good nor is it healthy. It makes you feel unwanted and most times makes you go into a deep depression. 

Melinda Sordino, the main characters, struggles with being an outcast. Speak is about her life, her story, but it’s all up to her if she wants to tell it. It all began at a party when she called the cops at the end. The reason is because she didn't feel secure when she was with Andy Evans. The beginning of high school her friend circle was desolate.This made her fraught with anger which sent her down into a spiral. But she had art. She could express herself in Art and that was the only class she received an A in. The project she received for the year was a tree. This tree later symbolizes Melinda's growth to over come her fears and speak up about the night of the party. 

I could relate to this story because I know how important socializing is to a high schooler.   It may not be important to all kids but to most it is. Feeling wanted it is the best feeling. To know that someone actually cares about you besides your family and God. Being accepted, knowing people, going places, and having friends feels perfect. But you have the pick the correct people and you also have to learn for yourself who people are and how they affect you. 

I liked Speak because it touched upon a serious topic that young woman and woman go through. I also liked the book because it was structured well and written well. It’s suspenseful and makes it easy to read and want to read the whole book in one day. For me reading a book in one day seems boring but this book made it easy to complete the task. Like any other book Speak had some weaknesses. The biggest weakness was the way the book was sectioned. I understand each marking period to show growth but it wasn’t necessary. There was a strength also. The strength of the book was the way it was written. Laurie Halse Anderson gave a lot of details that helped understand the situation Melinda was in. 

I recommend this book for teens who want a good story to read.Speak  is a very interesting book. It's not a typical book about a girl in high school. It's not about treachery, or jealousy. It's about a normal girl who is hiding a secret because she can't tell anyone. Speak is a sapid and genuine novel. It touches upon topics that people don’t like talking about. This book is easy to get attached to and you can begin to feel how Melinda feels. 

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Becoming Chloe(Independent Reading Project)

True colors

This song is about finding yourself, and although in the book Jordan and Chloe are searching for the good in the world, they also find themselves. They help each other find themselves.

Hold On

Jordan and Chloe had hard lives before they met each other. Jordan was put down every by his family for being who he was. And all Chloe has seen in her life is evil. But they made through those tough times. And the hard times, helped them enjoy the good. This song is all about holding out through the bad times, so you know witch moments are the good ones.

How to love

Chloe experiences heartache all through out here life. She never knew what it felt like to be loved by someone, who didn't just want her for her body. But Jordan shows chloe that there it is possible for her to be loved.

I Was Here

As chloe and Jordan travel across the country, they leave a pice of them selves everywhere they go. Everyone they met they either leave or gain a new out look on the world.


Chloe forgot who she was. She lost the happiness that made her who she was. So it was up to Jordan to help bring her back from her depression, by showing her the good and beauty in the world.

Carry On

Even though Jordan and Chloe face many difficulties on their trip across country they face many difficulties, they never give up on trying to see the beauty in the world.

Reasons for song choice:
Ordinary Day

I included this song in my playlist because it was made for chloe. She spent her whole life in the clouds. Seeing only the things she wants to see. And she helps Jordan she the world the way she sees it, as he helps her see the world for the best place it can be.

Thousand Miles

I added this song because Jordan and Chloe took a break form the world. And that time didn't exist where they were.

You Got A Friend in Me

I feel this song represents Jordan and Chloe's friendship. They are always there for each other no matter what. From the moment they met, they have always had each other's backs, no matter witch situation they were in.

Becoming ChloeBecoming Chloe by Catherine Ryan Hyde
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"Becoming Chloe" is a Young Adult novel ,by Catherine Ryan Hyde, about Jordan (Jordy) and Chloe and their journey as they search for the beauty in the world. As the story begins Jordan is alone in the world. Cast out by his family for being Gay, he is living in the basement of a deserted building in New York, NY. One night he hears noises coming from outside the one window, that looks out in to a usually abandoned alley. But on this night he looks out his tiny window, to see a group of me surrounding a girl with torn off Clothes. He saves her, and he becomes her Guardian Angle. They soon save enough money to move to a new home. A better home. But their stay there is cut short, when Otis, the home's owner, and Bruno, his dog dies. The death of Otis and Bruno sends Chloe in to a spiraling Depression and she beginnings to doubt the good in the world. To Cheer her up and make her see the good in the world, he takes on a trip across country.
In my opinion this is a great book. Catherine Ryan Hyde touched subject other young adult authors would never in their dreams think about writing about. The one thing I disliked about the book was the ending. It just dropped off. Yes, Jordan and Chloe ache vied everything they hoped to achieve, and the answered the question sounding their whole trip, 'Was the world good or bad?'. But we didn't get any after thought. Where did they finally settle down? Will Jordan ever find that special some one? Will chloe? These were the questions I asked my self while turing theses last pages of the book. Even though the book left me with questions, I would not hesitate recommending this book. It was a great read, with a lot of depth.

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The Full Spectrum

Taylor Washington


Orange Stream

The Full Spectrum:

A generation of writing about gay,

lesbian, bisexual, transgender,

questioning, and other identities.

The book  The Full Spectrum: ( A generation of writing about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and other identities) edited by David Levithan & Billy Merrell. This book has been research upon by the SLR ( School Library Research), a research journal of the american association of school librarians. They’re research shows that in every high school there should be a LBGTG  literature for teens. Also on Goodreads it has over 1,000+ awesome reviews.   

One of my favorite short stories/ journal in this book is “When you’re a gay boy in america” by Danny Zaccagnino. His section had an very engaging story about the way gay people are treated by society. When Danny was a young boy his boy scout counselor told him he was not a true scout.

Danny also shares about his tattoo on his back and what it symbols while also explaining how the same pain from the tattoo reminded him of the pain he went through for being a gay man. His tattoo is a dragon. The dragon represents a protector that will always have his back. But thats just one interesting story in the book of a teenager that went through plenty of struggle because of his sexuality.

Personal Experiences

I can somewhat relate to The Full Spectrum because a lot of these struggles I have witnessed happen to others as they were trying to come out of there shell if being “Straight” and being the sexuality of their choosing.


Yes I will love this book till death bring us apart, because one of the biggest strengths of this book is each journal entry they are all so unique it's almost like reading someones secret diary. If I could change any aspect of the book it would be to have sections for each theme of the book so that you kind of had a clue of what you were about to read.


Yes I would definitely recommend this book  to anyone who is mature enough to be able to have a sort of understanding of the fact that the stories in this book are very extreme on the way people put there feeling out there. These teens deserve respect.

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IRP Project

V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd is a powerful dark storytelling book

that is about a city in London that lost it’s freedom and being ruled by this computer who is

used by the dictator of England also known as “fate” then a camp survivor that scaped and

name himself as “V” wants to give the freedom and equal rights to the civilians by killing

people who are in power and also people who were part of the camp where the used to

torture/experiment with people where the main character “V” escaped from.

There are two main characters in the book V for Vendetta who are V and Eve this two characters each have a background about what happened, The character “V” was captured in a camp and his room  number was 5 which is where he got his name; this happened around the 1970’s there was  a war involving London England and the government of London got completely wiped out by people with a lot of power who later on became into a dictatorship and after they

got their power, the Dictator Susan or fate who is a guy made all the asian, Blacks, gays

to go to camp’s where they would torture them and test experiments.

Experiment 5 “V” got captured during this movement of dictatorship and was sent to camps  over the time the test subjects would die slowly while V was still somehow immune to this

injections and toxins that were put in his body, he had a doctor that would often check on him

and write down on his journal saying that when he looked at V she would feel like V was

feeling pity about all of the scientist making experiments on people, over the time the

doctor would give him materials to V to make his flowers grow but one day V used

the materials to make  an explosion and escaped.

After V escape he goes around the city of London saving people and helping citizens

rebel against the city ruled by a dictator, during his journey   he basically he blows up

certain buildings that are connected to the main computer in the dictators office and after

he does that he kills the people that were in the camps that tortured people, also he went

after the most wealthiest people that work in the government or that were linked to

the dictator.

In conclusion I think this book was one the greatest book or graphic novels I have ever read

It has a good story telling and it’s very gripping because as soon as you start reading it

you want to know what’s going to happen next and how everything is going to go down.

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