For the 3rd advisory bake sale, I made cream puffs and small cookies. In order to make the cream puffs, I first made the cream which is my favourite part of the cream puffs :D. To do so, I whisked together a bit of flour, cornstarch, sugar, egg yolk and milk in a bowl. I put the bowl in the microwave oven and heated it for about 5 minutes. I also put a few drops of vanilla essence after the cream was warm. Next, I worked on the bun. I mixed a small portion of the flour, water, milk and butter and heated it in the oven for about 2.5 minutes. Then, I put in the rest of the flour and mixed it well. I heated the mixture in the oven for another 1 minute. As I kneaded the dough, I added egg and slowly stirred the mixture. When the mixture was ready, I divided it into ten equal balls and sorted them on a tray. The rest was very easy as there was an option for Cream Puffs on the oven and while the buns were baking, I prepared the packaging materials. After the buns were done baking, I put the cream inside each bun and packaged them neatly. The whole process took about 40 minutes and as I also helped sell the baked goods for about 15 minutes, I think I deserve 1 service point.
For the 2nd advisory bake sale, I made chocolate chip melon buns. In order to make the bread dough, I mixed flour, powdered milk, yeast, chocolate chips and salt in a bowl. In a seperate bowl, I beat the egg and put cold water and made sure it was well-blended. I then added it to the flour mixture. I kneaded the dough until it had a firm shape. While the dough was stored in a warm place, I made the cookie dough. In a bowl, I whisked soft butter, sugar, egg and vanilla extract. In another bowl, I whisked together flour, baking powder and salt and added it to the bowl. After all of the ingredients in the bowl were combined well, I put it in the refrigerator. While the dough was cooling, I took out the bread dough and divided it into ten equal balls. Then, I took out the cookie dough from the refrigerator and cut it into ten pieces. I flattened each piece so that I can wrap it around the bread dough. After I wrapped the dough, I coated the dough with sugar and made criss-cross patterns with a knife. While the bun was in the oven, I prepared the packaging material. After the buns were ready, I packaged them in cute bags. The process of making the buns took 2.5 hours and as I also contributed in selling the baked goods for 30 minutes, I think I deserve 3 service points.
What did you do well?
Overall, I think I did well throughout the process of making and selling the chocolates in order to raise money for the education of the Thai Kids. My chocolates met the design specifications which were having a good appearance, having a good taste, not falling apart, and having an appropriate price. All of my chocolates sold out in 30 minutes and it was a success.
What could you improve on? What would you do differently if you could do this project again?
Next time if I were to participate in the chocolate fair again, I will produce more chocolates as my chocolates sold out in 30 minutes and a few people were disappointed to see that my chocolates were sold out already as they were thinking of buying them later. Before the chocolate fair, I thought 12 packs were enough but it proved to be wrong. I am capable of making more chocolates as the production cost of the chocolates was not that expensive. Also, it might cost a little more but I would definitely like to raise more money in order to send more students to school.
How many chocolates did you sell? How much money did you donate to Thai Kids?
By completely selling 24 chocolates (12 packs), I raised 1900 yen and I donated all of the money.
Did this product impact you? How did it impact our community? How did it impact the Thai Kid Foundation? Explain.
This unit greatly impacted me as I learnt that working efficiently was very important. As we had a limited amount of time to work on the chocolates, I had to plan everything out carefully. and think about how much time each task takes. I was also careful about keeping up with my plan, in order to make sure I do not run out of time. It also raised awareness of the children in Thailand who are not able to go to school due to financial problems. We were able to raise more than ¥135,000 in all which is an astonishing amount and overall, I think it was a big success.
In order to find out more about stocks and learning how human activity impacts the economy, we traded stocks in a stock market simulation game. During the first few days, I purchased stocks from two companies BABA (Alibaba) and COST (Costco). As I was not experienced and was a little afraid to be a risk-taker and buy stocks from more companies, I decided to wait a bit longer. However, I talked with my friends and discussed about good companies that were worth investing and decided to buy more stocks from different companies including AMZN (Amazon), P (Pandora), GHC (Graham Holdings Co.), WMT (Walmart), AAPL (Apple) and WFM (Whole Foods Market). The media also impacted my decisions greatly. During the few weeks, I would always run up to my mother or father to check if there was news about stocks in the newspaper. Also, I researched about companies and observed the trend line of the stocks for each company carefully in order to make a good decision. The stock watch list helped as well.
Along the way, I made sales and additional purchases as the value or price of some stocks were rapidly dropping and some stocks were clearly rising. For example, the stocks of the company Alibaba was continuously dropping rapidly from November 13th to November 19th. The price of the stock dropped from 119.3 to 115.1. 115.1 to 114.25. 114. 25 to 110.81 and 110.81 to 108.82. In 6 days, the price of the stock dropped 10.48 dollars. On November 18th, I hurriedly deleted 100/170 of my stocks to prevent more loss. On the other hand, the stock price of Graham Holdings Co. rose rapidly from December 2nd to December 9th. The price of the stock rose from 894.89 to 907.61, 907.61 to 928. 928 to 941.1. 941.1 to 940.14 and 940.14 to 945.36. In one week, the stock rose 50.47 dollars (894.89~945.36). Therefore, I purchased 1 more stock on December 13th.
During the few weeks, I learnt how risk-taking trading stocks were and experiencing buying and selling stocks was very interesting for me.
For the Circus Unit, I focused on three apparatuses; juggling, diablo and spinning plates. Although I am not very strong in juggling, I was able to continously juggle the balls 5 times. For diablo, I was able to control it and adjust the spinning by moving my arms and making sure that it does not tilt too much in one direction. Also, I was able to do the “Throw and Catch” successfully. I think I did very well in spinning plates, as I performed many tricks such as “Throw & Catch:”, spinning the plate on my finger and passing with three people.
Reaching this point took a lot of practice and we dedicated each class for each skill. Also when working on passing the plates with three people, we told each other how to improve on the throws and made sure that the throws were accurate. We also encouraged each other and we valued teamwork.
Some difficulties I faced were coming up with a sequence to show my skills effectively. However, after talking to my group members, we came up with a routine that was perfect and also creative and very unique. Next time in order to get a higher score, I should make sure that I do not go out of the screen when performing.
Winter Concert Reflection 2014
On Friday November 28th, the winter concert was held in the main theatre. The strings section and choir section of both MS & HS performed at the concert. During the MS strings performance, we played five pieces which were “Contredanse”, “El Gato Pizzicato”, “Hunter’s Chorus”, “Alegría” and “Conquistador”. “Contredanse” was the starting piece of the whole program and it was a little pressurizing and I could feel that the whole group was very nervous. When we started, the melody did not have as much gusto as when we practiced as we were a little tense. However, as we got less tense and more relaxed, the melody became more flowing and it sounded great in general.
For “El Gato Pizzicato”, I played the piano part. As I reflected on my performance while looking at the video my mother took, I realized that I rushed a lot at the part where the whole orchestra plays pizzicato and they were struggling to catch up. I made a mental note to myself to make sure I do not rush next time as the melody of the piano is pretty much the base of the piece. However, I think it was one of the most enjoyable pieces as the melody was straightforward and it had an upbeat mood to it. The audience clearly enjoyed the sound effects as my mother said she especially liked the ‘meow’.
“Hunter’s Chorus” by C.M. Von Webern was also a very fun piece. As it is a very well-known piece, we were quick to learn the melody and all of the separate tunes created a beautiful harmony. The next piece was “Alegría” by Janelle Zook Cunalata. This piece was definitely the piece that the orchestra performed the best. I could really feel that the whole group was united and I think every section played the accents very well although it was sometimes challenging to control the accents and make them distinct. I also loved the flowing melody in the middle section and how it suddenly changes to a more hectic pace towards the end. In a way, it was also emotionally satisfying.
The final piece that wrapped up the MS strings performance was “Conquistador” by Deborah Baker Monday. With a dramatic mood, it depicts the life of the spanish explorers known as the Conquistadores. Conquistador was one of the pieces I felt that I performed the best as I was able to play confidently and also, I made sure that the melody of the violins did not drown out the main melody of the cellos.
For the high school section of the strings performance, I played “Emerald Falcon” as a guest performer. I had never heard of a piece with a double-bass solo part and therefore, it was very interesting. The melody of the double-bass made the piece sound very deep and profound. It was the most technically challenging piece in the program for me as on measure 78 and 79, I had to change the angle of my elbow when changing the string. Also, I had to practice a lot of times to make the pitch perfect. However, I was fully prepared for this piece and therefore, I was able to play it confidently.
Overall, I think the concert went very well and I would like to thank Ms. Constantini and Mr. McHugh for making the concert a reality!