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9/11 Short Film Response

I was most affected by the piece directed by Sean Penn. I immediately felt for the old man: he lived alone, he’s still desperately holding on to the memory of his wife, he never turns on the lights, etc. The filmmakers illustrated his day to day life perfectly, revisiting familiar shots and highlighting the mundane things that the man uses to occupy his time. As the film progressed, I felt more and more troubled by the way he seemed to actively resist moving on. The old man’s tragic state of mind was also evident in the way that the filmmakers edited the movie. There were several sequences in which the film cut quickly from one shot to another. During several of these quick shots, the man would appear desperate and anxious, but the film would quickly switch to another shot where he would continue to go about his day. It seemed as though he knew deep down that his wife was gone forever, but wasn’t ready to admit it to himself. 

The ending was especially touching. I appreciated that the film did not explicitly show that the Towers had collapsed, but instead implied it in an achingly bittersweet way. The shot of the flowers springing up in response to the sunlight was particularly effective. 

When the bombings occurred, I think that many people did not want to accept that something so horrible could have happened so close to them. Much like the death of a loved one, national tragedies happen quickly and it takes time to realize their full impact and begin to make a recovery. This segment was about loss, and the old man’s loss was no less tragic than the bombing of the World Trade Center.

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9/11 Short Film

The one that made me feel the most was the second film about the man who lost his wife. This particular one made me feel the most because the music that was playing seemed to be reelecting how he his feeling and what he was going through. Then he would talk out loud as if he was talking to someone and he didn't seem to be the happiest. Also, the affects they used during the film made it a lot more interesting. Then, as the buildings fell it let the sun hit his plants which was a reminder of his wife and when the buildings fell the sun brought life to the plants which seemed to bring life to his wife. Then once he woke up and saw the sun, and what it did to the plants he was overcome with emotion. The one thing that stuck with me and the most and made me very emotional was when he was on his knees holding the plants and said "you should've been here to see this." I feel as though that was a perfect way to end that film. 

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Blog Post 1: Enemy of the State

In the movie enemy of state the government plays a cynical and overly involved role in the citizens lives. They not only have access to peoples phone conversations but also have cameras and agents everywhere and ready to capture or eliminate anything they don't like. The citizens have no privacy because their phones are being tapped when they don't know it and if the government wanted to keep an eye on them, they could easily have agents watching the individuals every move and accessing their information while they might not even know it. In my opinion the government shouldn't have that much access into its citizens personal lives but at the same time, i can see why they would want to keep tabs on certain people and listen into peoples conversations sometimes as a national security precaution but at the same time, its really not their place i guess. If the government was run they way it is in the movie, i really wouldn't want to live in the united states because the movie makes it seem like no matter what you do, you aren't really free and the government will be watching your every move and could easily get rid of you and make it look like an accident. I think that if a person has a criminal record that is really bad or threatening or could pose as a threat to national security, some sort of tabs should be kept on them i guess but I don't know, some of the stuff in the movie seems like it would go against peoples rights and what not. 
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9/11 Short Film Response

Usually, abstract films (like Sean Penn's short) confuses me. Most of the time throughout the film, I was trying to piece together what I am seeing before my eyes. It didn't take until the end for me to figure out the details of the film. Even though I found the film interesting, I couldn't connect to it in any way since I didn't make said connection during the film. And of course, I don't really know what to say about the first film since I don't understand Italian. So that pretty much leaves the third and final film. 

The one thing that stood out to me before anything else about the film was: the intensity. The missing soundtrack and use of muffled silence almost put me over the edge. Here we see (hear) the world through a deaf/mute woman during the event of 9/11. Sure it's an interesting take on the way to tell the story of 9/11 differently, but it was more than that. To me, that (the whole film) symbolized the millions of stories that people across the world have to tell. Everyone went through something different; experienced unique happenings throughout the course of 9/11. That's why that film especially stood out to me. It wasn't just about her or his (the characters), it was about my story. My friend's story. My mom's story. My neighbor's story. My neighbor's friend's story. And his family's story and so on and so on. We all have something different and unique to bring tot he table, and the film was the medium in which people could voice their story, even without the actual use of sound. The film, to me, was all about the story of the people. 
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Enemy of the State

​The movie started off with enough action and thrill that it caught my attention. The film kind of scares me now because i don't know what could possible happen. The movie was actually made before 9/ll so that's what i think is really interesting, the bad guys birthday in the movie is also 9/11 which is creepy. That really makes me question everything now. Why that date? Was it just a coincidence? Was it on purpose? I personally knew that the government is capable of a lot of lying and i thought that politics was all just the center of a bunch of lies. But it can go deeper then that, extreme coverups to what could have happened on 9/11's attack. Is what we keep constantly being told the truth? When they center the covering up of  lies around the government they make it seem like it's something that should be relatable with our real government. In the movie will smiths character and his family undergo a sever under surveillance watch through fire detectors to clothing. Privacy of the citizens in the movie is something that's the least respected throughout the movie. I don't think that the government should be able to have that much power in being able to see our personal information. I still think that a individuals freedoms should be restricted for safety purposes but it shouldn't be taken as far as trying to get information from every person that they possible talk to.

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Dig Vid 9/11 Blog Post

Out of the three short films we watched today I think I took the most out of the second one. Being that it wasn't my first time watching it I understood a bit more of it. From the first time I was able to watch it my view of the message behind it has changed. I went from thinking his wife died on 9/11 when in reality the "light" that was brought upon him was thanks to 9/11 in some way. He was living a life of pure imagination and lies. He stilled liked to think that his wife was there by his side, growing old with him. I think that this is what attracts me more to the film. It takes something to deep and hurtful and turns it into something so interesting and shows it in a way where different people can take it in different ways. I took at as his light was his wife he loved her too much to even let her rest in complete peace because he himself didn't accept her death and her no longer being by his side. Which I take as him being selfish cause regardless she is now in a better place. I also really liked how there wast much eye contact with the camera. The old man was always focused on something more which to me made it a bit more touching, it made it more realistic. The end confused me for while until Mr.Herman told me why the flowers were blooming. The fact that they took the idea of something so tragic giving him this light after loosing someone he really loved intrigued me and till this day I wish I could meet the director to ask him why ? why take this approach to something so tragic and giving it a beautiful meaning, well at least to me. 
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Jess Jimnez - 9/11 Short Film Response

When I watched Sean Penn's video I've aready expected everything. After watching it two other times, it still remains one of my favorite short films. The way the man in the film lives on with his life even after his wife's death, tells quite a story. I still find it interesting that 9/11 was the date when he finally found out the reality about his life and if it never happened, he'd still be in denial. Also, the contrast between his public appearance, and his home appearance was interesting. In public, he was this old man who looked somewhat decent. You knew nothing about him, you'd think he was normal. But at home, he was this lunatic (to some), who couldn't move on from his spouse's death. Overall, I think Sean Penn did a very good job over all expressing indirect loss (loss that maybe wasn't from the towers collapsing), especially with this humble old man that just wanted to enjoy the rest of his life with his wife alive.

The french director's film was interesting as well. Maybe because I didn't feel like it was a 'silent' film, rather we were experiencing the story through the woman, who was both deaf and mute. We only heard what she could hear, and say what she would say. The few seconds of the phone call with the woman's partner helped foreshadow the events that were going to happen, and what possible outcomes could happen. The rest went on to being through the life of the deaf woman. Who was a unique way of telling a story.

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Back to School Nights - September 11th and 13th

To all SLA students and their families -- Back to School Nights are coming soon!

For Freshmen and Seniors, your night is Tuesday, September 11th from 6 - 8 P.M.

Freshmen will be having an advisory potluck in the school cafe, where they will be greeted by Mr. Lehmann, break bread with their new groups, and also have a chance to meet the freshmen teachers. Families are asked to contribute dishes to the evening by last name:

A-F - Appetizers + Snacks
G-S - Main Dishes
T-Z - Desserts + Beverages

Seniors will be having a College Information Night with Ms. Hirschfield, Mr. Lehmann, and their advisors in the Drama Studio. Crucial information and forms will be shared.

For Sophomores and Juniors, your night is Thursday, September 13 from 6 - 8 P.M.

Families will be greeted by Mr. Lehmann and will then have time in their advisories to learn about academics and visit classes online. This will include information about Moodle, Naviance, and other relevant programs. Families will also have time to visit subject teachers one-on-one.

For all grade levels -- students are strongly encouraged to attend with their families!
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Girls Volleyball Starts Summer Conditioning

SLA's Girls Volleyball Conditioning begins the week of August 27th from 10:00 am- 2:00 pm!

All interested girls MUST bring current physicals and knee pads.  We will meet at SLA and then walk to the field on Chestnut and 31 St.

Practices will take place on Tuesdays from 3:00-5:00 pm and Thursdays from 4:00 -5:00 pm at the field (on Chestnut and 31st) or Freire Charter School.  Questions should be addressed to Coach Hirschfield at or 917-797-9807.


9th Grade Summer Reading Info

Dear Incoming Ninth Grader, 

Welcome to SLA! Before coming to school in September we'd like you to read one of three books:The House of the Scorpion (Nancy Farmer), The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins), or Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card). 

While you may get the book from the library, we strongly suggest that you purchase your choice text, as we will be using it in English classes in September.  Of course, feel free to read more than one title!  They are all so great!

Below are some questions to help you navigate your novel and help you prepare to discuss it with your classmates and teachers. As you may already know, SLA utilizes guiding questions that help focus our studies and make learning more meaningful for us all.

As you read, think about the following larger questions as they apply to the characters,action, conflicts, and resolutions in your choice text and also as they apply to your life. Part of active reading includes some writing. Prepare to hand in a journal consisting of at least eight entries, each one longer than a half page.  Before you write, consider the following questions to explore in your journal. Include your own personal responses to these questions, and how these questions might apply to your choice text. This will be collected in September.

  • What is family?
  • What is the power of friendship?
  • What does it mean to be a caregiver/mother/father?
  • What is education and where can it exist?
  • What is love?
  • How does a person become evil?
  • In what ways can the line between good and evil be blurred?
  • How do you justify the idea that a person can be both good and evil at the same time?
  • Who is a survivor? Why?
  • What does it mean to be human?
  • How can children create their own paths in a world run by the adults?


SLA Students Transform TFI Recycling System

After conducting a waste audit of the Franklin Institute in February, a group of 15 SLA freshmen presented their findings to both the Manager and the Director of Operations. When the students received the endorsement of Waste Management Corporation in March, and presented their recommendations at the NJ/PA Sustainability Symposium, the Museum staff agreed to make some changes. The students worked with Waste Management to secure new recycling bins, some of which are pictured above. On Thursday, the students chose strategic placements for the bins in order to maximize public compliance. On their behalf, Waste Management recommended to TFI management that a new system be used to differentiate trash from recycling in the Museum's processing facility. The student group will propose next steps to the entire Franklin Institute staff, including senior management, at a keynote in September. These steps may include an educational program, a PSA, and/or other ways to ensure that the Museum's roughly 1,000,000 annual visitors handle their waste responsibly.

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10% Project

For my 10% Project, I decided to film myself presenting three of my favorite animals at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. There I am an Explainer in Outside-In, the children's nature section of the museum. I am also known as the "Bug Lady" because I primarily handle things like cockroaches, isopods, scorpions, and my personal favorite the tarantulas. The video below features three animals, a rosy haired tarantula, giant cowbird, and Eurasian legless lizard.
10% Project
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President Barack Obama Speaks To The Class of 2012

President Barack Obama addressed the Science Leadership Academy Class of 2012 at The Franklin Institute today. In his remarks, President Obama challenged the graduates to change the world, stating, "There is somebody in this room who’s going to help make sure that we are defeating diseases like Alzheimer’s or cancer.  There is somebody in this room who is going to help revolutionize our agricultural sector, or our transportation sectors, or will invent some entire new industry that we don’t even know about yet." The faculty of SLA could not agree more! 

Thank you to President Barack Obama for an incredible gift that the graduates will take with them for the rest of their lives, and congratulations to the Class of 2012! 
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Quarter four Tyler Creighton art !

For the fourth quarter we were given about 6 sculptress to complete. Instead of ms Hull checking the work in the end she checked it week by week. Or every two classes. There was no designated order in which we had to go in so I took it upon my own hands to go in my own order I chose what I thought would be the most complicated to do first then the least complicated to do last. I feel like all of my work had a lot of effort and commitment. My skills improved by a lot and grown amazingly in this last quarter in all of the art areas. By taking my creativity and directing it in different fields I Believe my art is now something I can call my own. 

In the first picture I chose to do abstract motion I chose to draw a ballerina and how he tutu moves by the way she spins. What inspired me to do this is my passion for dance. I am a dancer. It took me quiet some time to make this drawing and many of times I was using the earased more than the charcoal. I didn't out as much effort into it as I did my other drawing because it wasn't going the way I saw it in my head but I feel I did a pretty good job. 
In this second picture I did abstract and I was inspired by my thoughts in this picture. It took me two class periods and a half to complete this. The reason it took me so long was because I used oil pastels . I put a lot of effort in this piece . I feel I deserve a lot of credit from it . This piece shows my passion for color and life and somehow it explains my life CRAZY! 
In this third picture it focuses on abstract emotion. It might be pretty confusing but when I did this piece I thought of different things I like and how they make me feel inside. The fish shows my freedom and inside it shows how happy I am and how my mind is every where and colorful. When I thought about this painting I thought about life in general! It took me a while to do this and the tools I used were colored charcoal. The messiness shows how much of a mess life can be and the white shows the blankness (I that makes sense) 
In this picture it is an observation drawing. I had to look at pictures of the mutter muesem and  find a flower that caught my eye and 
Draw an up close drawing of it. I chose a really small yellow flower and drew and up close drawing of it and the vines around it. 
These are just extra projects I decided to do 
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End of year portfolio: EThan

Ethan Reese 6/4/12

Mr. Block is my english and world history teacher he taught us many units over my sophomore year. However, one has sat with me to this day. This unit was learning and discussing the power of language. One quote of mine that really stuck out from my Language autobiography is one that I stated as one of my general understandings. “Language is the most powerful tool in the human’s arsenal.”

This is something I contemplated for hours upon, language is the most powerful tool in the human’s arsenal, I repeated it to myself over and over. Until I finally understood what it meant to me, it meant that language has the most effect on humans and our cultures. It meant that language was the most powerful weapon with the strength to bring the largest army to its knees or, it could heal a culture and reinvigorate its people, had the power to turn men to immortals. Language is not something good or bad, it all has to do with how you use this weapon of mass destruction.

A quote that connects this idea of language holding an all mighty power would be          “Language is the first step into a culture”*. This statement is saying that language has the power to introduce you to a culture and by entering that culture opens your eyes to a whole new world. One of the things we seek in this life is diversity, we want to learn as much as we can and one of the best way to do this is language immersion. People use language to relate with each other and create relationships. Without language we would be babbling mindless bodies wandering through life alone.

A second proof of general understanding is a quote from my language autobiography, “Language is the world’s greatest treasure and its greatest curse”. This quote was something I had strung off of my first quote “Language is the most powerful tool in a human’s arsenal”. What this meant to me was that language has the potential to do great things, I could not imagine life as being an illiterate. All of my friendships I have ever had have come through the connection of a shared language. However it is a curse to the world, people have caused war, famine, and inequality in this life by using language. I do not find language to be something good or bad, I do find it to be an important part of human cultures.

My last proof of general understanding is a quote from my grandfather “Language has the power to start or stop wars, to have one nation silenced or have them all shout out at the same time”. This spoke to me and I knew I had to use it for something I just never knew what, it ties directly in with my general understanding. What this really means is sort of like every quote I have been using that language is a double edged sword that can persecute and destroy or repair and unionize. In this quote he is saying that language can bring peace between nations and end conflicts or one insult spoken through this language can cause an uproar between two nations.

Language is a hard thing to comprehend, some imagine a world without language to be a good thing, they see it as inequality will dissipate and conflict will cease to exist. However they do not see the flip side of that coin, that a world without language would be a world of brutes and barbarians being uncivilized and unorganized. So for as of now I have learned a world of language is a world ten fold better than a world without.

My second general understanding comes from an assignment meant for the book night I changed it around a little to make it a statement more than a thought. GU (power changes everything?)

“Power leads to one of two paths, the first being a path to enlightenment and an age of prosperity in the world. This path is the path of equality and justice, the second path leads you to war and hate. This path is what causes inequality and poverty in the world and sadly is the path most followed”.

This quote I feel has been one of my better pieces of writing, a very similar quote came from the same paper. “Power is a double edged sword, that either is used as a tool for justice or inequality.”. In this quote I use an old proverb of something being a double edged sword, meaning that both ends do something. I translated it into power which in this quote meant that power does one of two things makes the world a better place or on the flipside makes the world a worse place. What this quote really meant to me was that, looking at dictators and rulers from the past people notorious for abusing or rightfully using their power. We can really get insight into what power really is and look at how our different systems work.

A second quote I used came from a game I play, Fable. The game is about being a ruler and making choices that lead you to power, and how you use that power to be good or evil. “Power does not just belong to the powerful, but to all. The powerless just forget just how powerful one child, woman, or man can be. This realization is what causes either peace or violence amongst a civilization.”. This quote is something that I never thought much of until one day when I was playing it and it hit me this has to be in my paper. What this quote really means is that the people in power abuse their power because no one else steps up to oppose or up hold their promises. This ties in with modern day government and about how there are a lot of people in power that are corrupted and make the world an unequal place. Which we discussed amply in Mr.blocks classes.*

Overall this year has taught me many things but the lessons that have stuck with me the most, are discussion of power and language. This is why I chose to use these for my general understanding. I really hope that this shows what my year has been like with my English and World History teacher Mr.Block.

* - Pieces of work I am proud of-

You can see all of my work on this page. - My history - My english

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Humanities Portfolio 2012

Over the course of the year, the amount of work that i received was consistent and always flowing through.Even though at times it was hard to do work not because of the difficulty of the work but just the amount of the work itself.So I say I am not a poet I am not saying I can not write poetry per say but in all actuality Im saying that i can't ever compare to the great writers of the past that made work so powerful that it is still used today.I had the inspiration to do my love poems after looking after all of the poems that reminded me of a person that heavily influenced me in my younger years.It was very rough at first but then towards the end of the poem I learned that not every line of  poem has to rhyme like in the books in elementary school.

The studies that we did during the year were very vast and hot handed.One of the ones that I recall the most was the one we did during the assignment we did about but buddha.It was a very emanational in a way because it had to a lot with predominantly religion and I looked into it and I in a way found a lot of peace by just meditating.Some quotes are

All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain?An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind. Thiese are just some eye openers of witch i was in triggered by.

When we hit the french revolution I was moved by the hardships that were faced by the lower class people. The had to change all of the opinions that they had because they were not able to express them because if they did express them they would be "shot down" and not listen to.One day when the people that were treated harshly got tired they rebelledd and fought back. even thought they know they were going to die they still went for it because they knew this was necessary to have a better and more well rounded life.It payed off! Lives were lost hearts were broken and in the end they now have their freedom because of what they did.

These  were just some of the many example pieces of work that I did this year.



french revolution :

Quotes from, budhha:
Screen Shot 2012-06-12 at 9.32.06 AM
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