Throughout the three years in Spanish class, I have become much more acquainted with the Spanish language and culture. It is a pleasure to be in Spanish class and I am glad I chose Spanish as my language. I started Spanish when I was in sixth grade. At that time, I was quite shy and I could not get used to spontaneously conversing in Spanish. However, throughout the years I felt more and more at ease in Spanish class and I felt more confident in speaking Spanish. In my opinion, I think 8th grade was the best year as I loved the topics Ms. Gancedo covered, such as holidays and food. It was so sweet of her when she brought edible carbon and cake to class for Christmas. At first, I had thought it was real carbon and she tricked us, so I was fairly disappointed but when Gry decided to eat it, I ate it as well, and it was sugar. I was amazed because it was very realistic! The last unit we just concluded was exploring Spanish food and we learnt about pinchos and vocabulary connected to it. Our task was to create our own pinchos and my group made a pincho with fried potato, avocado and canned tuna as the main ingredients. Our other pincho was based on gyoza and we included cheese, spinach, onion, gyoza wrap and bacon as the main ingredients. It was very successful and I enjoyed it! I loved being in Ms. Gancedo’s class and learning Spanish with my fellow classmates throughout the three years and I hope to continue Spanish in high school!
For our last unit, we looked at the film adapted from “The Lost Thing”, a picture book written and illustrated by Shaun Tan. The Lost Thing is a dystopian story about a dark, colorless society where everything is in complete order and everything looks the same. One day, while collecting bottle caps for his collection, the boy comes across a strange creature but cannot find the identity or the source of the creature. When the boy seeks help from a government agency, a creature tells him that the agency will only try to hide and make him forget about unusual things or things out of order such as the strange creature, and gives him a card with an arrow on it. After a lot of searching for the sign, he follows it to fine an utopian land for lost things where it was colorful and had many different creatures unlike the city where everything was gloomy and was in perfect order. I think the message the book was trying to telling us was that diversity and uniqueness should be embraced and we should not be afraid to be different. Using the creatures in the picture book as inspiration, I designed my own creature.
On May 13th and 14th, the WJAA MS Girl Softball Tournament was held on both Friday and Saturday. As the scorekeeper, I helped out from 9:00~5:00 on the first day and 9:30~3:30 on the second day. I think earned a total of 15 points. It was such a refreshing change and I loved watching the games. Sometimes, it was nerve-wrecking as we had to constantly look at the game and score accordingly with speed but it was very enjoyable and I hope I can do it again next year!
Last Friday, the Grd 3 & 4 Concert was held in the auditorium from 6:00pm. I played the piano accompaniment for Star Wars along with the elementary students and a few fellow middle schoolers. In order to prepare for it, I attended five rehearsals in total which account for five points and the concert (1 hr). Therefore, I earned 6 points in total. I enjoyed playing along with the elementary students as I love Star Wars and I loved seeing all of the students playing with so much enthusiasm and energy as it made me really happy. It was great that I was able to experience this as a service opportunity as well. Thank you Ms. Go!
As tech leader this semester, I enjoyed participating in many activities such as the Google Summit and help out in Ms Shigeta’s Accessories Club. Like last year, I had such a wonderful time during the google summit, looking at teachers around the world fascinated with technology available and the things that could be done with it. I tried to help out at Ms. Shigeta’s Accessories Club as much as I can but due to my very hectic schedule, I was not able to go a lot of times. I love working with children and I loved creating different accessories with the children and seeing their smiles. As a member of the tech team for the past few years, I learnt the joy of encouraging other people to explore technology and have fun with it and I hope to continue my work next year as well. I’d also like to thank Mrs. Lemley and Ms. Shigeta for supporting me and providing me with so many opportunities!
As a member of SBC this year, it was a wonderful experience and I loved organizing events such as spirit week along with the other SBC members and strive to make middle school a more enjoyable place for students. As an 8th grader this year, it was important for me to be more active and be more forthcoming about my ideas and be a leader. My experience as a student leader for the past two years were amazing and taught me not only how to be confident in public speaking but also the pleasure of making others feel happy and glad to be in CA’s middle school. The smile and laughter of the students during events that we organized was heartwarming and made me glad that I was in the SBC. We are currently working on the Fun Bowl that will be held on the last day of school. Looking back at all the fun I had as a member of the SBC, I hope to continue my work and take leadership in high school so as to contribute to make high school a better environment for myself and the students.
As a member of eco club this semester, I tried to participate in activities and help out in hopes of preserving the environment and helping the community. I was not as active as last semester due to my very hectic schedule. However, I think I was able to positively impact the community throughout my actions and I learnt that it was important to take part in activities as even small actions combined together make big differences.
On April 29th, the CA Spring Instrumental Concert was held in the auditorium. The theme of the concert was “Stories of Spring”. The 6th graders were first in the program and my solo for Baby Elephant Walk started off the middle school repertoire. The ⅞ Orchestra repertoire consisted of movie music, which I had suggested in my music journal, and I loved the music choices. Personally, I think I performed best in Baby Elephant Walk as despite my worry, I was able to play the melody with good intonation and confidence. I was a bit nervous as it was crucial for me to play well and confidently, as it was the start of the beginning piece of our repertoire. However, I was glad that I was able to play well and I think it was a very creative and enjoyable introduction for the audience and many members of the audience commented on it and came up to me with compliments. Regarding the other parts of the piece, it was a bit disappointing as I noticed that the cellos had played more louder and stronger during class and their part was quite important as they were the baseline. Therefore, we lacked a bit of enthusiasm/ goofiness and rhythm but overall, I think we did well on this piece.
As I also noticed during class, Star Wars was definitely the piece that our ensemble performed best as the class loved the piece and were very enthusiastic about it. It sounded very powerful and it was crucial for me to play loud and decisively along with the cellos as we were the supporting baseline. I think we followed Ms. Banahene’s conducting quite well.
I think I was well prepared for this concert as I had practiced and learned my parts well so that I will be able to play confidently and accurately even though I get nervous during the concert.
I think Star Wars was emotionally satisfying as in this piece, we were united and it was clear that we were enjoying the piece. I loved that it sounded strong and powerful, matching the background video created by Yu.
I think Chronicles of Narnia was most demanding both technically and emotionally as there were a lot of tempo changes and it was very hard trying to encourage the players to play their best and with enthusiasm like they did in Star Wars. It was also hard to make sure that they were looking at me during tempo changes so we definitely need to continue working on this so that it will be a habit for them.
From the repertoire we played, my favorite piece was “Baby Elephant Walk” from the first time I heard it and I was very honored and excited when I got to play the solo. It was the first time I had played from the audience and it was great and I hope I can do something like it once again!
The map above briefly explains the human brain. The largest part of the brain is called the cerebrum and it interprets input from the senses such as hearing, touching, smelling, remembering, tasting and seeing, carries out complex mental processes such as learning and remembering. The cerebrum is divided into a right and left half or hemispheres. The right half is usually known for the creative and artistic ability. The left half is associated with mathematical skills and logical thinking. The cerebellum coordinates the actions of muscles and helps maintain balance. For example when a person walks, the impulses tell the feet to start moving. The cerebellum gives us the muscular coordination and sense of balance that keeps us from falling down and being steady. The brain stem, which is located between the cerebellum and spinal cord controls our body’s involuntary actions. For example, neurons in the brain stem regulate our breathing and help us control our heartbeat.