Our first music unit was about Classic music. And I picked What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. Actually, I’ve sang this song before at the start of the 7th grade with my friend, S.S (Only by initials). I wanted to sing other song, but since my voice and the pitch wasn’t matching with the music, I had to pick this song where the melody is slower and easier for me to sing. Although I was half disappointed that I had to sing this song again, I decided to sing this song again. SInce I have a stage fright, it took me a bit of time for me to start singing in front of people. To be honest, I think I was okay. Not great, but not bad. Overall, I think I was okay and if I have any chance to do this again, I think I’ll pick another song.
For past month, grade 8 have been working on mash ups and remixes. This is one of the example of remix: Sweet Brown ‘Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That’ . Pretty funny isn’t it? Actually, it’s one of my favorite remix! Okay, so before we move on, I should tell you the meaning of remix and mash up – Remix is when you mix two source material together. And mashup is a creative way of remixing. We’ve been learning and watching all kinds of remixes and mash ups at the first few weeks of the lesson. After learning about copyrights, remix, mash ups, stock footage and all those ‘technology’ words, it was our turn to actually make a remix and mash ups.
Okay, to be honest, I wasn’t that pumped up in doing this project since I had no idea how to do all those mashing up two sources and all. So, I decided to use the easiest way of making a remix/mashup… Laugh Track (The 5th bullet point explains about the Laugh Track). That sounded fun and seemed like I can even do it! Now, all I have to do is to find a non-comedy TV show or movie, find a scene that can be funny, put a laugh track on and I’m done. Piece of cake! That’s what I thought it would be. And it was. But, god it was hard to actually find a suitable non-comedy TV show/Movie. And there is only one reason why it was hard to find a right TV show or Movie… because I only watch funny movies and TV shows! It’s all filled with laughter, balloons, rainbows, pranks, and confettis. While I was in a desperate time of finding a horror show/movie, The Walking Dead saved me! As it says on the title of this thrilling, and awesome TV show, it’s about the Zombie Outbreak. Now, since I’m a big fan of The Walking Dead, it was easy for me to find which scene of which episode will be perfect for a comedy scene. So, I picked the first 5 min. of the Season 3 Episode 4. And from there, it was a smooth drive. First, I put that episode into iMovie and cut out the part that I didn’t need. Next, I downloaded a laugh track from here and put the laugh track on the part of the scene that can be funny. I downloaded quite a few laughs so that the laughter changed each funny part. Because if the laughter is the same, obviously, it will be boring. Then, I changed the volume and the timing of the laugher. And when I watched it in my own, I thought I did a pretty good job.
So in conclusion, over all, I think I did a decent job in making a horror show into a comedy show. If I have another chance of doing this unit over again, I probably will do the same thing… but maybe not The Walking Dead. Other horror show or movie that I can’t name it right now. Any who, I must say that I actually enjoyed this unit since most of it was watching the show. Just kidding, but seriously, I really had to concentrate on what the actor/actress were saying or doing. So, I wasn’t just wandering in the space and just watching it for fun. I think this unit was a great experience for me to actually learn about something and doing something that I don;t do much in my daily life.
For past few weeks, I have been making my own music in music class. To be honest, the process of making my own music wasn’t an easy task for me. Actually, we did this making-your-own music in the past too. The message of my music before was to be yourself no matter what. This time, I made a song about a girl finding a new crush. It’s actually based on true story… and you wouldn’t believe it, but that ‘girl’ is ME.
As I’ve mentioned it before, composing music is not my thing. One of the reason why is because I am simply not a music person… But, of course this is no excuse. The real reason why it was arduous for me was because I didn’t quite get the meaning of melody, pitch and all those music vocabularies and I just have no idea how to make a music. But then, this is summative task, so it’s a must to create our own music. I got inspiration about making a love song from Taylor Swift. During my composition of music, I listened to her to think about the melody, and the lyrics. Since I didn’t want to make a song about breakup and heartbreaks, I decided to make a girl (featuring me ) falling in love with one boy. I am type of a person who comes up with the title first, then create something cool from it. At first, I was thinking to make the title as “C.R.U.S.H.”. And the lyrics was suppose to sound a bit like a cheerleading cheer. It goes something like this: C.R.U.S.H., she got a new crush, Oh yeahhhhh! C.R.U.S.H., her heart is pumpin’, Yeah, she got a new crush. I think personally, the lyrics were quite catchy and rather sweet. When it came to actually writing a melody.. with a piano, my head just went all coco-moco-loco (my way of saying crazy)!! I FAILED big time making that music! Darn, the lyrics were pretty good, but I just couldn’t come up with the background sound and melody.
Since I couldn’t make that music, I decided to try to make another one. I made my title as “She’s got a new crush”. Again, the ‘story’ of the song is about a girl liking a boy. The hook of my song is: “She’s got a new crush, she’s got a new crush, she’s got a new crush and it’s giving her a head rush.” Of course there is more to this song, but that’s the hook. And with that lyrics, surprisingly, I was actually able to make a background music and create melody. I think this song is sweet and bitter because the boy doesn’t like the girl back. And after days of practicing my melody, I arrived with one sound which I thought was perfect for my song. And that’s how I was able to compose my music.
Overall, this wasn’t a really smooth task for me to complete. Even though it was a bumpy road for me, I gave this baby my A-game and gave it my best shot to create lyrics, and to think of the melody. If I have another chance to edit or make music, I think I would change… well to be honest, I think as a girl who isn’t that good with music, I think I made a pretty good song. So, in conclusion, I am indeed happy with my work.
For past month, we have been learning about rock music spanning the time from the 1950s – 1990‘s. Here, I will be comparing and contrasting 2 popular songs from 1950s – 1970‘s era.
The first artist that I decided on was Elvis Presley, the 1950’s famous American pop star, and the second artist I chose is the famous 70s band from America, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Between them, they have literally hundreds of songs to pick from. Ultimately, I chose Hound Dog by Elvis (released in 1956) and Ohio by CSN&Y (released in 1970).
I decided to use “Hound Dog” and “Ohio” to compare and contrast because there is a generational difference. The kids who danced to “Hound Dog” were adults by the time “Ohio” was released and were probably parents themselves by then. Another reason I chose these two songs was because they just sound cool, in my opinion. In terms of content, I like “Ohio”, but “Hound Dog” is obviously a much happier song.
Compare: One obvious similarity between these 2 songs is that they are both same rock ‘n’ roll music. These 2 songs were very popular in their day, and probably still is popular. I actually know that one of my cousins in U.S. just loves Elvis Presley, and my dad taught me about music from the 1960s and 1970s.
I can kind of guess that even though it seems like they were hot back then, the heat is still going on even now, in 2013.
One more similarities I found between Hound Dog and Let It Be, is that both got very catchy hooks in their song. For Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog,” the hook will be ‘You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog’ and for “Ohio,” the phrase “Four dead in Ohio” repeats. I also found another comparison in their lyrics. I realized the rhyming pattern of the lyrics is similar. For example, Hound Dog
‘….. Cryin’ all the time…… And you ain’t no friend of mine’
“….Tin soldiers and Nixon’s coming……this summer I hear the drumming”
Contrast: There are lots of differences I found between the 2 songs. The first difference I found is that Elvis’s song is upbeat and happy, and CSN&Y’s song sounds very angry, and very complex. When I listened to “Ohio”, I was pretty sure that I got some goosebumps.
The biggest contrast is the rhythm and structure. “Hound Dog” is a very simple, fast song with a typical early rock beat that does not change throughout the song. It is a simple verse, simple chorus type of song. “Ohio”, however, is a more complex song with a variety of rhythms and structures.
Content as well is different. Almost everything about that song was amazing, and the beat and lyrics still remains in my head. Speaking of content, one more difference I found was the topic of the song
“Ohio” lyrics were very intense, and pretty much heart-aching
“Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
We’re finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
Four dead in Ohio.”
To understand this lyrics, I must tell you a bit of background story. On May 4th 1970, while the college students at Kent State University in Ohio, USA were protesting the Vietnam War, the Ohio National Guard started firing their rifles at the students. Unfortunately, at the end of the shooting, 4 students were killed. So this song is in response to the shootings at Kent State University.
On the other hand, Elvis Presley’s Hound Dog is about trusting a wrong person, and in an inner way, he is making fun of that person.
“Well they said you was high-classed
Well, that was just a lie
Yeah they said you was high-classed
Well, that was just a lie
Well, you ain’t never caught a rabbit
And you ain’t no friend of mine”
Whenever I listen to Hound Dog, I always think that he is singing about a girl he had broken up with and singing about how unfaithful and careless she was.
In conclusion, I think that both songs are very awesome in their own way. One is very upbeat, light and almost funny, the other is very dark, angry and complex. I’ve kind of learned that Rock ‘n’ Roll, in all its forms, literally lives forever, and continues to be loved by everyone in the contemporary world.
For past few weeks, my class has been making a character from font. Don’t get what I mean? Okay, so let’s take the font, Comic Sans for example. If you were to make that font into a human, what would it look like? I can imagine a character from Marvel comic books. So, you draw your character with a bit of idea from the character that already exists to create your original character of fonts. Each person in my class was chosen which font they will be drawing. And I was chosen to draw Futura.
The font of Futura itself, doesn’t really look like ‘futuristic’ font, if you know what I mean. It looks kind a bit of Arial Narrow. Okay, maybe it’s slightly different, but I think it looks alike. I mainly focused on the word, Futura. It sounds like Future (Doesn’t it sound like it?), so I made my character look futuristic. The first step I took to create my character was some ideas. So, I’ve researched my thumbnails to get a grip about how to draw Futura. And pictures below shows which character gave my an idea of Futura:
Monster High (Frankie Stein)
Tron Legacy (Girl in White)
These two characters on top gave me a quite good idea in which characteristics and features that I should give Futura. What I had in my mind after researching up my thumbnails, was a tight suit with a bit of ‘glowing’ outline around the body line (from Girl in White) and long skinny legs, eyes, and nose (Monster High). To start off with my character, I drew each body part to make things easier.
I started with face. As you can see, I decided to cover her head except for her bangs. And to make it look like she’s from the future, I kind of made the bangs ‘wavy’. Around the ears, I added a earmuff with a tiny circular microphone so that people will think that she’s kind of a ‘spy’ type of Futuristic girl. Now, the eyes. Okay, let’s face it: I think the eyes of Futura is slightly slanted. So, when I finished with the face, I made a note to myself, “Don’t make the eyes slanted too much.”.
So, as I had already mentioned it before, around the body line of her suit, I wanted to make a ‘outline’. And you could see that there is a line right next to the body line. Why I put a heart on the right side of her chest? Because to show that Futura isn’t just any other people: this motherboard heart shows that she has feelings, memories, and opinion, except that it’s all kept inside the motherboard.
Oh! And I almost forgot! Her legs. I made sure that her legs are long and skinny like Monster High’s legs. And I also made the boots near the thigh wide so that it’ll look Futuristic and too look well… cool. (I’m sorry that her leg has been cut off)
Even though I put my effort into this ‘body part’ draft, the part that I put my most effort into is Futura’s eyes. Eyes are very important for my character since eyes also shows a lot of emotions too. The iris’s eye color is my favorite part of the eye, so I have already made up my mind that I’ll make her eyes crystal blue.
So the drawing of Futura’s eyes are next to this sentence as you can see. I think I’ve already mentioned it before, but I didn’t want to make her eyes slanted. What I really ment was that, I make the eyes little slanted so that she’ll look beautiful. But, not too much or else, the image of Futura would be different. I also added eyeliner again, for the same reason why I wanted Futura’s eyes a bit slanted; I want her to look beautiful. During the draft, I actually thought about making her iris a gear. And this is the picture: I though it was pretty smashing idea to make Futura’s eye gear-like. Because she’s basically half-computer/robot and half-human since she live in Future.
So, the sketch of each body part is done. And I combined all of those sketches together, and this is the draft I ended up with: Not bad, right? At least I think so. Her hair is very long, cool high-heeled boots with matching glove, mother board on her right chest, and tight suit that covers her head with headphones. Overall, I think I did pretty amazing for a start. But, I still had to work on eyes. So, I practiced and practiced until I was satisfied w/ it. And the second draft (Before the finals) turned out to be…
(Sorry for her hair) I think eyes are much better than before. Now that I had finished the draft sketch of my character, I had finally drew my final draft. After that, I traced it with thick black pen to make the outline of pencil bolder. Then, I put it into a scanner, and by using Adobe Illustrator, I started coloring inside the white space like coloring book. Suddenly, when I was coloring her suit, the colors spilled out into the background! Oh no! With no panic, I just simply asked my dad (who is really great with these computer problems) to help from me. I learned that I have to use the tool called Live Trace. Amazingly, that Live Trace stitched back the opening between the lines together. Thanks to Live Trace, I was able to color a suit separately with other parts with opening.
Now, here is my final (I am actually pretty proud of myself)
Huh, huh? Pretty cool right? I think the colors and almost about everything really matched my character and the font. But, even though I say that, I can still find cons about this work: Background. I really wish I had added a background so that the image of future will be stronger for people who is looking at this digital art. And pose. I could have make the pose more like superman or something. Just putting one arm on her hip doesn’t really click to me as ‘Futuristic’ person. What I like about this digital artwork iis colors and face! I think I did A-okay on that.
Overall, I think I did an amazing job on this art work. Next time though, I’ll add awesome galaxy-ish background to fit in with Future, and make the pose as if she’s like some Futuristic spy or something. Anyways, I am glad that I was able to humanize the Futura font. Without this font, I don’t think I’ll be able to come up with this colorful and pop-looking girl.
So, about a week ago or so, I made a speech about guns controls in the States. The biggest reason why I wanted to give out this speech was because I wanted my country, United States of America, to rethink about guns being legal there. So, this is a question y’all (especially to you, America): Let’s suppose that government had taken away our precious guns. Will you still live? Is guns our life?Answer: YOU’LL STILL LIVE! and NO, guns aren’t our lives. We have something better than that!! Will it break the second amendment of our tyranny? Answer: Some of you people might think so, but I would say NO. Will we loose our freedom? Answer: That’d be a big…. NO!!!!!!! We won’t be breaking the tyranny of the government not we won’t be loosing our freedom if we let go of the guns.
So, here is my link to my speeches. I hope that all of you will understand how I want U.S. to change (FYI, I’m American too! Well, to be exact, half-American, half-Japanese). But, even though I’m just a 14-years-old girl, in Japan (never really lived in the States), I still hope for the best, and I’ll keep on hoping that someday, America will change.
I’ll bet that most of y’all gun lovers/owners will be thinking, “Heck, this girl’s half Japanese. She doesn’t know ANYTHING about America.” Well, let me tell you what, I actually do a thing called RESEARCH where I go to Google or News and check out what is happening in the States, and why this kind of shootings/killing occur. And I know a lot more about gun laws, and those situations more than you gun owners/lovers. So, instead of just assuming that I don’t care/know about U.S. gun control, why not listen to my speech real carefully, and think twice about your guns.
Anyways, back to the topic of my speech. If I was to redo this speech again, I’d add more information and opinion about anti-guns. If there was no time limit, I would surely be willing to add more sentence into my speech.
This will be a bit off-topic, but there is one more speech that I would like to share, and that speech’s spokesman will be my dear friend, Kate. Her speech topic was about ‘Toddlers and Tiaras“. Kate is against the beauty pageants. And I am pretty impressed and convinced that beauty pageants are not that good especially for 3~6 years old girls. She had explained very well about how girls who is attending beauty pageants gets ‘brain washed’ by their beauty, and how that will affect them in future. This might gross out some of y’all, but here’s the picture of Honey Boo Boo child who had become Toddlers and Tiara queen.
One word…. Ew. When I was about her age, I was wearing a cute toddler’s clothing who enjoyed playing outside, and drawing with colored pencils/crayons. I didn’t cake up my face with spray tan, eye liners, fake lashes, lip stick/lip gloss, and blushes. I didn’t wear those extremely out-of-age clothing (With zebra prints, spaghetti strips, etc…) and most of all, I didn’t cry over for not winning the pageant. I cried when I missed my favorite TV show back then. Anyways, I think Kate did a job-well-done for convincing almost every student in my class that it’s not healthy (psychologically, and mentally) for little girls about age 3~6 to get into fashion and beauty.
For past week, I have been working on my book trailer assignment for my english class. All we had to do was to make trailer… about our favorite book! When we were given that assignment, I immediately knew which book to choose. I chose the book that I loved the most out of all the books I read! I read that book 6 times within 3 month! That book was called… Out of My Mind by Sharon D. Draper.
I had couple of ideas in my mind about how to make a book trailer.
And I’ve decided to do Stop Motion Animation. I know that it would take me like, forever to do it. But, once I start it, I must. I MUST stick to it.
First, I started brainstorming my ideas and made a storyboard. It took me 3 days to get things organized and which scene I should do and all. Out of all those dramatic scene of this book, I chose 5 most important section. Then the next, I started sketching out the scenes. I really cared about the layouts, the background and the angel of the person. So, the picture below shows my storyboard and my brainstorm
And this was just a beginning of making my pretty awesome trailer.
Next, I got a bunch of B5 paper and got myself to work. I was very nervous. What if I mess it up? What if I lose one or two paper, and forgot that I lost it!? All those negative thoughts rushed through my mind. NO!!! STOP!!! I can’t think like that. At least not now. Not this instant. I am just starting right now! My pencil lined a shape and shading that I wanted it to be. I felt free. I drew and sketched and drew like I was enjoying cooking some sort of delicious cake for someone’s birthday! Day 1: I finished 1 and half scene. Phew-wee!!! That is a lot of hard work! If I compare this me creating the book trailer to the pâtissière making a irresistibly scrumptious cake, I would say that I just finished spreading the cloud-like whip cream and sour-sweet blueberries and strawberries between 2 soft cake sponges. I still have a lot more work to do. Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 and so on. And in total (Including my story board), it took me 1 week and 3 days! Finally! I was finished! Per day, I did about 5~6 pages. In total, I have made 58 slides. WOW!!! I was actually amazed myself.
Then, all I had to do was to put a last touch-up on my marvellous cake. I had to take a picture, send it to my computer, and connect all of it with iMovie. And I was suppose to finish there. You know, only a decoration made by cream and strawberries around the circumference of the cake. But, I think I needed to add some bedazzle into my trailer. I added a music called ‘Chasing Cars’ by Snow Patrol. Plus, to make my trailer a bit more realistic to the real book trailer, I added like the made-up credits at the end and film-making company’s name. Just for fun So, after adding those, I felt complete. Finally my mouth-watering, very creamy, sour-sweet fruit appetizing cake is fini!!! Finally! Below is my trailer. I hope y’all would like it!
Today in my class, we presented our poems to our pupils. We were divided into 5 groups, 4 people in each group. I was with 3 other people with initials of A.L., N.J. and K.?.
Axel’s presentation slides for his poem welcomed our class with a radio wallpaper since the poem was about radio. Obviously, he had a clear voice, well-projected voice and good eye contacts with us since all he had to say was, “Radio… by Laurel Blossom” and reading his poem.
Next slide was very bright and rather eye catching. Although, I wondered to myself, why there was a picture of a burglar? As Axel read his poem, I realized the reason why. It was because this wasn’t only about a radio itself. It was about a burglary of a radio. Back in 1990′s, in the states, there were a lot of radio stolen since the radio could be sold for a lot of money. You could tell that it is about the radio getting stolen by this phrase:
No Radio Already stolen
Overall, I think Axel put in a lot of effort into this presentation and he did a very great job
Here are some of good points I found:
Since I don’t really want to mention the bad parts about him, I wouldn’t really want to say it, but one thing I would say is that he could a bit slow down. Especially when he was reading his poem, he was too fast! I couldn’t really catch up with him. Therefore, I had to read the poem off from his slide. But, again, as I’ve mentioned it before, Axel’s presentation about Radio was pretty awesome Way to go, Axel!
http://www.discovercircuits.com/dc-mag/Issue_12/Photos/car_radio.jpg (Added a filter to make it more ‘retro.)