Esta Soy Yo

En el clase de español, yo he cambiado las letras en la cancion “Esta Soy Yo” de El sueño de Morfeo y he descrito yo mismo.

Y esta soy yo,

Y esta soy yo,

Y esta soy yo,

Y esta soy yo,

Dicen que soy

un helado con chispas de caramelo

que soy muy dulce y feliz.

Dicen que soy

un libro con cuentos de hadas

y un diccionario

Y esta soy yo

una chica relajada

pero muy trabajadora y persistente

Y esta soy yo

una canción sobre estrellas titilantes

en la noche preciosa y las flores en

la primavera que se balancean en el viento.

G4 Active Citizenship Fair

On Tuesday, I participated in the G4 Active Citizenship Fair as a tech leader and introduced activities that the tech team do, including the Google Summit, Tech Orientation, Robotics/ Minecraft Club and Parent Workshops to the fourth graders. I also talked about what kind of people we are looking for; people who embody the Responsible Use Policy, are good leaders, good “teachers” with patience and positive people. I was very delighted to know that many 4th graders already had an interest in joining the tech team as Ms. Shigeta had shown the video Masao and I had made to promote online safety to the 4th graders. It was a very enjoyable session as many students recognized me from the video and were very enthusiastic, asking questions and yearning to learn more about the tech team. I hope I inspired them to contribute to the community by joining the tech team and actively participating, and I am looking forward to working with them soon!

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Golf Swing Analysis & Target Unit Reflection

I noticed the following when I analyzed my golf swing:

  • My starting position was good; I had a steady stance with my feet apart and aligned horizontally which allowed me to have good balance. The position of the ball/ tee was not in the middle and closer to my left foot.
  • I think I could’ve bent my knees (especially my right) as makes it easy to shift my weight forward without losing balance during my swing.
  • My left arm was very straight, helping me hit the ball farther and more solid.
  • Although I had a good stance at first, my followthrough needs improvement. When I swung the club, the position of my feet moved a lot, causing my balance to be insecure.

a) List 3 similarities between the different target games (Frisbee & golf) we covered in this unit. Describe the similarities.

A similarity between the two games is that you have to have a good stance/ position when throwing the frisbee or swinging the club. Another similarity is that in both Frisbee & golf, you aim a target and the follow through/ actions that lead to the swing/ throw is important. For example in Frisbee, you have to turn your body and flick the wrist correctly in order to throw accurately/ well. In golf, you have to have the correct stance, have your feet aligned horrizontally, keep eyes on the ball, bend knees and keep your arm straight before the swing. Another similarity is that both sports mainly use hands and arm unlike soccer although the legs are important for having a good stance.

b) Skill acquisition requires perseverance and knowledge of the different components of target games. What successes did you have in this unit?

In Frisbee, I learned to have a firm grip pretty fast and I think my throws were parallel to the ground, which made it travel faster and more accurate. In golf, I think I did well in having a steady, balanced stance, having my arm straight and hitting the ball accurately and powerfully.

c) What were some things you found challenging in this Target unit? What did you do to correct your skill?

Although sometimes I was a little frustrated that I kept on hitting the mat instead of the ball, I kept persevering until I was able to consistently hit the balls accurately. I also had a habit of swinging too hard, causing my body to pivot which was apparently amusing for some people. As I practiced on stance, I became better at controlling my swing and not turning around too much.

Kibou no Mori 1

On Sunday, I participated in the Kibou no Mori activity from 9:00~11:00 in which we cut weeds that would hindre the growth of the trees that were planted previously. By doing this activity, I helped the growth of the trees which is good for the environment along with taking a break from studying and having a fun time with my friends. It also had a good impact on the community as it improved the view for the hikers that climb the mountain. It felt nice being outdoors, breathing in fresh air and saying “konnichiwa” to the hikers who were climbing up the mountain and I am looking forward to participating in the next kibou no mori activity.

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MS Fall Trips

For fall trips this year, I went to Wakasawan along with other middle school stduents ranging from 6th grade to 8th grade. Through lots of fun activities including cutting (boating), marine activities, hiking and raft building, we worked on team-building and cooperation. Building and rowing on the raft was definitely the highlight of the trip. It was my very first time and it was nothing like I expected. The activity was done in attendance groups and we allocated the tasks such as carrying the logs, figuring out the structure of the raft, tieing the logs etc.. I was mainly responsible for carrying the logs. When I went up the slope to get the logs, a pair were trying to get a log. As soon as they lifted it, about a hundred cockroaches came scurrying out at once and I couldn’t help but let out a ear-piercing scream as it was a gut-wrenching sight! Everyone started screaming and cry-laughing at the same time! Carring the logs was the most horrendous task. I was determined to set an example and carry the logs without complaining  but it was so hard to resist dropping the log as cockroaches and bugs were peeking out of the cracks in the wood and you did not know when they would come out. As not everyone was willing to do the task, I had to take leadership as an 8th grader and motivate/ tell the others to be brave and actually carry the logs instead of just standing around and making the others do the task of carrying the logs.

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Figuring out the structure of the raft on our own was challenging at first as the only guidance we got was a small model of the raft. With the assistance of Mr. Andrews, our supervisor, we were able to figure out where to tie the ropes etc.. The ropes we were given were either too short or unravelled and tying the logs together was very time-consuming. We also had to pull very hard on the ropes and tie to ensure that the logs don’t fall apart or water doesn’t seep in and it was very tiring.

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However, rowing on the raft was a very exhilerating and fun experience expect for the part where everyone was screaming and jumping off the raft when a centipede and cockroaches were crawling on the raft, as I was panicking. The weather and view was very good and we were able to balance out the weight so as not to tilt the raft too much although I was the only one in my group that did not fall off the raft at the end. I felt that along with having fun, we really learn to cooperate and work together as a team to get a task done.

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The talent show was also a very memorable experience as I became closer with a lot of classmates through planning and practicing for the talent show together. My group sang a mashup of songs in acapella and considering the time we were given, I think we did pretty well and I had a phenomenal time working with the others to create a mashup.

We were also able to experience a big of Japanese culture as we did Japanese radio exercise every morning. It felt very good sleeping early because of the day’s exhausting activities and waking up early to exercise outside where the view was splendid.

Throughout the trip, I exemplified an open-minded risk-taker by accepting and incorportaing different strategies/ ideas from other people in my group when I was building the raft although some ideas were in conflict by analyzing the ideas and deciding. I also carried the logs without complaining even though I detest cockroaches learned to deal with my fear. The trip was very enjoyable and I had a wonderful time at Wakasawan.

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Dance Unit- Choreography

October 8th

As a group (Ayano, Romane, Amelia), we decided that we will be using part of the Kennedy Center Performance from Pitch Perfect 2. As the beat in Timber is straightforward, we can incorportate the cross-leg move from Toshi’s dance routine and other steps.

October 16th

We have decided that we will be starting in a line and spread out one at a time and do a pique and pirouettes until we reach our spot. When the faster part starts, we have decided to the box step as there is a clear four-beat rhythm throughout the part. When it says “It’s going down”, we go down and have one knee on the ground and be in a kneeling position with one of our hands on the ground. When it says “I’m yelling timber”, we swiftly stand up and first turn to the right, pretending to yell with our hands on our mouth and then turn to the left. Next, we do the first step of Toshi’s dance routine (to the right and to the left), second step of Toshi’s dance routine (to the right and to the left). When the song says “Face down, booty up”, we look down and lift our hips.

October 20th

We have decided that when it says “We got the World…..”, Ayano and I move a bit towards the middle so as not to be too far away, before going down on our knee. Also, we will move to the right and and move to the right and left while lifting our hips and doing the hand movement of Indian Dance after the second step of Toshi’s dance routine (to the right and to the left). After “Face down, booty up”, we do a few steps from the virginia reel during the transition.

October 22th

After the virginia reel, we do the arm bending move from the original kennedy center performance video and hip move. Towards the end, we do a pique and pirouhettes into the middle and get to our positions in which we end in a single file and put our arms out. We have decided that we will be wearing a white/ grey top and shorts/ jeans.

Dance Assessment

1) Describe how you planned your performance?

We created the steps and planned out our performance by identifying dance routines/ steps that will match the rhythm in the song. For example at the start of the song, we imagined the opening of the curtains at a stage and so for introduction, we danced ballet; a pique and pirouettes. When the relaxed and slower melody transitions to a faster melody with very clear beats, we did the box step from Toshi’s dance routine matching to the four-beat rhythm. After a bit of change at “It’s going down”, where we went down in a kneeling position with one knee on the ground and our right hand on the ground, the music resumed the four-beat rhythm in which we put in the first step of Toshi’s dance routine (to the right and to the left) and the second step of Toshi’s dance routine (to the right and to the left), which matches the rhythm. After “Face down, booty up”, where we looked down and lifted our hips, we put in steps from the virginia reel. As shown above in the dance routine, we choreographed our dance by identifying dance steps that match the rhythm/ beat in the song.

2) Why did you choose the particular genres?

Before working on our dance routine, we explored a variety of genres of dances from different cultures so we could incorporate them in our dances. We had the MS dance teacher, Toshi come in as a guest to teach us hip hop and Ms. Premchand to teach us indian dance such as Punjabi and Bhangra. Ms. Shirota taught us ballet which I personally I enjoyed a lot and Mr. Cook taught us the virginia reel and dances from ’70s including the bus stop. We included all genres of dances in our dance routine as we thought it would be interesting to reflect different cultures in our dance.

3) Why did you choose the particular music

The mashup of We Got The World, Timber and America The Beautiful by The Barden Bellas of the Kennedy Center Performance in Pitch Perfect 2 was ideal for the dance performance as there were frequent changes of speed and mood, where we could change the genre of dance easily. For example, at the slower parts, we could dance ballet and dance hip-hop at the faster parts. The song was also very energetic, with a strong impact on the audience and the fact that it was a mash-up of different songs made it more entertaining and rich in variety. The song also had a very clear four-beat rhythm throughout the song which made it easier for us to incorporate different steps/ routines and match up with the music.

1)   How does culture influence dance?

Using indian dance as an example, people normally dance to show celebration or happiness and the culture also influences dance heavily in India. There are religious aspects to the music and dance as for example, Dama Dam Mast Qalandar by Mika Singh Feat. Yo Yo Honey Singh is a pop version of a traditional Punjabi spiritual song, which was written a few centuries ago in honor of the most revered Sufi Saint of Sindh, Shahbaz Qalandar of Sehwan Sharif, District Jamshoro, Pakistan, who worked for the unity of Hinduism and Islam. The original Dama Dam Mast Qalandar is one of the most famous qawwali and Qalandar is referred to as Hazrat (holiness), Shahbaz (king of falcons and a goldy figure leading to victory, divine spirit in Iranian mythology) and Qalandar (sufi faint, poet, mystic, nobel man) in the song and there are historical and culture aspects along with religions aspects influencing the music. During the performance of their dance, Mika and Yo Yo raise their arms frequently to show respect and praise their allah (god).

2)   How are different dance genres developed? What influences?

Throughout history, dance has been an important part of ceremonies, celebrations and entertainment since the prehistoric times traces of dance have been found in 9,000 year old Bhimbetka rock shelters paintings in India and Egyptian tomb paintings showing dance figures from c. 3300 BC. Dance has also been a form of protection against diseases or showing expressions such as love. An example of the transition and change during the development of a dance genre is the transition from court dancing to Romanticism, where there were drastic changes in costume and choreography during the 18th~19th century, allowing more freedom when dancing and conducive to a fuller use of greater and expressive motions of the body. The development and acceptance of heel-less shoes opened the door to pointework, eventually leading to ballet.

3)   Describe 2 things you learnt from this dance unit.

Throughout the dance unit, I learnt a wide variety of dances from different cultures and they were influenced by the culture of the country, and that teamwork was most important when choregographing and planning our dance as we had to incorporate everyone’s ideas and put them into one dance routine. Also, at first, we were planning to wear our P.E. clothes during the dance performance but I thought we should all wear something different such as a white shirt on top and any shorts/ jeans to be more colorful and unique, and show that we have made an extra effort to look better as what we wear is also part of performance. Although my idea and the idea of my teammates were in conflict as they thought that changing the outfit was tiresome and were unwilling to wear the coordination I suggested, I was persistent and wrote an e-mail, explaining the reasonings behind my decision. I doubted that they will change their mind at first but I was delighted and very happy when they accepted and agreed to wear the outfit and I realized that through communicating clearly to my teammates and thinking through together, we can come up with a solution, leading to great outcomes; our dance was a success and I was very glad when Mr. Cook approved of our decision to wear a unique outfit.

Film Response- Gattaca

  1. Both the novel Unique and the film “Gattaca” offer a warning regarding the use of genetic engineering. Identify and contrast the warning from the two texts.

Although both stories are about technology that has advanced too much, the concept is very different between the two. The novel Unique portrays Dominic’s personal growth through his experiences and his quest in finding his identity, in which he realizes that although he is a clone of his brother Nick and has the exact same physical features, he is a unique, independent human being. He has the rights to decide for himself and follow his passions and not be hindered by the fact that he is a clone and suffer from unequal treatment. A warning that the story Unique hints on is that if technology advances too much, curiosity and greed will overtake common sense, making people oblivious to the feelings of other people, leading to unfair actions that violate humanitarian rights such as cloning of a human being.

Excerpt 1

Professor Holt- “Because I wanted to see if it could be done. That’s the truth.”

Dominic- ” ‘It’ meaning me, one person made from another, exactly the same? So I was an experiment, something made in your laboratory! You must think you’re so clever, you can make anything, control anything! ” “You don’t know what it’s done to me!” (p.106)

Excerpt 2

“Dominic, sixteen years ago, when I did what I did, I didn’t see what the real consequences might be. I let an arrogant, ruthless man get the better of my judgement. I allowed him to exploit my curiosity as a scientist. Could this thing be done with a human? I was sure it could, and I wanted to be the first to do it. At the time I didn’t think about Carla, or , if I did, I just thought she ought to be grateful to get her son back. I didn’t think about who that son would be… (p.134)”

Meanwhile, the message of the movie “Gattaca” is that although advanced technology can allow parents to choose the best traits from their genes and put it in their child’s DNA and make the child flawless, it is not always good for the child. In “Gattaca”, Jerome was the perfect child. With a IQ off the register, sight better than 20/20 for both eyes, heart of an ox, height of 6 foot 1, extreme physical ability especially in swimming and running, he was genetically superior and a member of the elite. Never having the experience of being under no.1 in his whole entire life, he was overwhelmed when he became second best at a swimming competition. He was overcome with shock that he did not meet his and everyone’s expectations and believed that he was no good, leading him to attempts of suicide. “Jerome Morrow was never meant to be one step down from the podium”