In Grade 9 our class was given the opportunity to visit Phuket in Thailand. During the visit we were able to experience the culture of Thailand, and try many different activities. One of the most interesting activities that we participated in was snorkeling in the beautiful Thai oceans.

The purpose of this snorkeling trip was to learn about marine life, and how our society has affected the life in the ocean. It was also an excursion that challenged our physical skills in a new situation. For me, this snorkeling trip was a great undertaking. This adventure brought me outside of my comfort zone, and encouraged me to take new risks. As we started out I was determined to learn about the oceans of Thailand, and experience snorkeling. When we reached the location that we would be snorkeling at, I was both amazed and apprehensive. The view of the ocean was stunning, and I could not wait to begin the excursion off the boat.

On the boat to where we would snorkel (with Hye-Won.)

On the boat to where we would snorkel with Hye-Won.
Photo by: May Tsai

Where we snorkeled in Phuket.

Where we snorkeled in Phuket.

While being impressed, I was also worried about going into the ocean. Although I can swim, I was new to snorkeling, and it was not one of my strengths. Jumping into the water was probably the most difficult part for me. As soon as I was in the water it soon became easier for me to orient myself in this new situation.  We then proceed to explore the ocean floor and see different type of coral. Our group was able to see the affects of pollution on the coral, and how our population has impacted life in the ocean. Later on, we also snorkeled in another sheltered section where we were able to see coral that had been less affected by pollution. This experience was very challenging for me, because we swam a lot, and this took a large toll on me, physically. I had to mentally prepare myself to continue swimming, while also managing my snorkeling technique. By the end of the trip I was exhausted, and hardly had any energy left. It was also a great time for me to reflect upon how this experience had challenged me, and forced me to take risks.

Snorkeling with Daniel

Snorkeling with Daniel

At the end of this experience, I was satisfied, because I was able to learn new skills and step outside my comfort zone. Snorkeling was an especially difficult experience for me, and it required me to develop new skills such as being able to breathe correctly using the snorkeling tube, and using the correct swimming technique to efficiently travel through the water. Although this trip was challenging, I was able to stay upbeat through my friends and peers. As this was a new experience for many of us, it was comforting to have and give encouragement to my peers. We constantly inspired eachother to persevere. During this trip I was able to take new risks. This gave me an opportunity to view the benefits of taking risks and stepping out of my comfort zone. In the future, I think that I will be more willing to take risks, and try out new things, after this positive risk taking experience. This trip has given me the chance to become more outgoing in unfamiliar situations.  Before this trip I didn’t feel confident snorkeling, and using the appropriate techniques. Afterwards, I felt much more confident snorkeling, as well as improving my swimming techniques.

In the future I would like to complete another snorkeling trip, to improve my skills more. After the snorkeling trip, I became curious about water sports such as snorkeling and scuba diving. I think that this trip was a very successful adventure for me, because I was able to become more confident while snorkeling, experience a new environment and learn to take risks. Overall, this trip really helped me develop new skills and encouraged me to be bold when stepping into new circumstances.

§547 · March 4, 2014 · GCD Adventure · (1 comment) · Tags: , ,

Tu as compris?
  1. Où sont Mme Lepic, Sandra et Pamela au début d’Une spécialité française? En ville.
  2. Quelles courses est-ce que Pamela et Sandra font pour Mme Lepic? Du pain.
  3. Qu’est-ce que Pamela achète? Pourquoi? Des fleurs pour Mme Lepic.
  4. Qu’est-ce que Mme Lepic a comme surprise pour Pamela? Des escargots.
Vrai ou faux?
  1. Pamela est allée chez le fleuriste pour acheter du pain. Faux.
  2. Pamela et Sandra décident d’acheter des pâtisseries. Faux
  3. Mme Lepic achète du pain. Faux.
  4. Pamela achète un bouquet de fleurs pour Mme Lepic. Vrai.
  5. En France, on mange des escargots. Vrai.
C’est qui?

Qui a acheté les choses suivantes? Mme Lepic? Sandra? Pamela? Personne? 

  1. Several bouquets of flowers.


  2. A basket of bread.

    Sandra et Pamela.

  3. A plate of snails.

    Mme Lepic.

  4. Several pastries.


Une journée intéressante

Dans son journal Pamela parle de sa journée. Mais elle a oublié quelques petites choses. Tu peux l’aider? 

Entry in a journal that reads: Aujourd’hui, je suis allée en ville avec Mme Lepic et (1)…. On a acheté du (2)…à la boulangerie-pâtisserie, mais on n’a pas acheté de (3)… parce que ça coupe l’appétit. J’ai acheté des (4)… pour offrir à Mme Lepic. Elle était très contente. On a eu une surprise pour le déjeuner. Des (5)…!
  1. Pamela
  2. Pain
  3. Patisserie
  4. Fleurs
  5. Escargots
Cherche les expressions

What do people in Une spécialité française say to … 

  1. ask for advice? Qu’est-ce que je pourrais lui offrir?
  2. make a suggestion? Pourquoi est-ce que tu ne lui achètes pas des fleurs?
  3. accept a suggestion? Bonne idée.
  4. offer food? …tu veux du pain?
  5. accept food? Oui, je veux bien.
Et maintenant, à toi

Imagine que tu es invité(e) à dîner dans une famille française. On t’offre un plat que tu n’aimes pas. Qu’est-ce que tu fais? 

Je voudrais manger le plat.
§541 · February 20, 2014 · French 9 · (No comments) · Tags: , , ,

This unit in tech class we have been investigating different types of games, and why these games are interesting. We are preparing to create a final project, that will benefit students in Kindergarten. We will create a simple game on Scratch, a website that can be used for coding in a simple manner. The game that we make will be educational, and tailored to the material that the students are learning in Kindergarten.  So far, we have studied different games on Scratch, and brainstormed different ideas for educational games.

There are many different reasons that games are interesting, and we are investigating these reasons so that we can create a fun game for the students. The reason that many games are interesting is that they are addicting. Many games encourage you to beat a high score, which makes the player want to keep playing, until they reach a high score. Many games also include the possibility of you “beating” the game. This makes the player want to keep playing until they have completely finished the game. Many people play games to pass time. There are a lot of games that are simple, and you can easily play for a short time, if you are trying to pass time.

Here are some examples of interesting games in Scratch.

Hide and Seek 

This game was interesting because it requires you to use your reflexes. It also has a score counter that makes you want to keep going until you beat your high score. It also is an easy game, so you want to keep playing until you do well. This game continues on for a long time so the player can keep playing for awhile.

Flappy Bird (Scratch Edition)

This game is a Scratch Version of a popular game, that was later deleted. This game is interesting because it is very addicting. It is addicting because it encourages the user to beat their high score. It also makes users want to compare their results with other users. This game is also unlimited so you can keep playing for as long as you want.

Claw Vending Machine

This game is interesting because it is simple to play. The game also has different endings so that the user with be encouraged to play multiple times. There is also a award at the end of each play that makes it interesting.

Another important aspect of the game-making process is deciding what to make the game about. In class, we came up with different ideas of what we could make the game about. For example, we could teach letters, simple words, numbers, or simple math problems. In the future, we are going to visit the Kindergarten class, and interview them on what they are learning, so that we can create a fun game that will interest them.

§531 · February 16, 2014 · Tech 9 · (No comments) · Tags: , ,

During this unit in English class, we have been looking at stories, their content and how the shape of a story can affect the content of the story. We learned about the plots of stories, and the conflict and resolution that occurs in stories. We also looked at example of plot in stories and this short film by Pixar. We also looked at different types writings such as villanelles and sonnets. Then we practiced what we had learned by writing our own short story with a plot, a villanelle, and a sonnet about a specific historical figure.

I chose to research, and write about Helen Keller. Helen Keller was a woman who lost both her sight and hearing at a young age. She had a tutor, who taught her to speak, and they both committed their lives to helping disabled people. In our poems, we had to focus on one specific aspect of our historical figure’s life. I chose to write about her disability and how it affected her.

The unit question that we focused on was “What is the relationship between the content of a text and the form it is presented in?” In this unit I expected to learn about the form and the shape of writing. I wanted to learn about how to create a story, with a clear plot. I also wanted to be able to learn how to successfully write poems and short stories.

In this unit I think that I learned a lot about content and form. I think that I improved on my writing especially in the area of poetry. I have improved on my ability to write poems more fluently. I think that I also improved on my ability to write a story with a plot. At the beginning of the unit it was very difficult for me to write a successful plot. I also think that I can improve my skills on writing a successful plot.

Overall, I think that during this unit I was able to lean many valuable skills, such as being able to write a sucessful plot. I also think that during this unit, I learned how to write sonnets and villanelles well.

§536 · February 11, 2014 · English 9 · (No comments) · Tags: , , , ,

During this unit in English class, we have been studying the use of language, and how it can be used for the use and abuse of power. We learned how to use different rhetorical devices, using example from Animal Farm by George Orwell. We wrote a news report using these rhetorical devices and, at the end of the unit, we utilized the skills that we learned and created a rhetorical speech.


In this unit, I think that I learned to use rhetoric successfully. This is a very important skill, because  with this skill you can learn to speak with conviction. Speaking with conviction, will help you to persuade and convey ideas in successful manner. The use of rhetorical devices is a very important skill.


The guiding question that we used this unit was; how important is language in the use and abuse of power? Through the course of this unit, we learned many examples of how language can be used and abused for power. I believe that the use of language is very important for gaining power. As seen in Animal farm, the pigs used very successful rhetoric to persuade the less intelligent animals. The book proves that with the correct usage of rhetoric, power can be achieved. In the plot of Animal Farm, the pigs use language to abuse power. The animals create a system that benefits themselves only, and this system become possible thorough the pig’s use of language. Although the pigs use language to abuse power, there are many situations when language is used in a positive way to gain power. For example, many world leaders use rhetoric-filled speeches to convey ideas successfully. In Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I have a dream speech”, King used skills such as repetition and hyperboles to move thousands of people across America. His speech is a clear example of the positive use of language to gain power.  In both of these situations, language was an important skill used to gain power.




§496 · December 13, 2013 · English 9 · (No comments) ·

Une Nouvelle Vie

Tu as compris?
  1. Which rooms of the Lepic house does Pamela see? Pamela sees the dining room, the living room, the kitchen, the toilet, the bathroom, and her own room
  2. What would Pamela like to do? Pamela would like to see the cathedral.
  3. Why don’t the girls visit the cathedral? Pamela fell asleep.
  1. trouve la maison sympa? Pamela
  2. montre la maison à Pamela? Sandra
  3. aimerait bien visiter la cathédrale? Pamela
  4. explique comment aller à la cathédrale? Sandra
Cherche les expressions
  1. How does …
    1. Sandra welcome Pamela? ”Voici notre maison. Bienvenue chez nous.”
    2. Mrs. Lepic respond to a compliment?
    3. Sandra ask how Pamela’s feeling? Ça va? Pas trop fatiguée?
    4. Sandra tell Pamela to make herself at home? Bon, fais comme chez toi.
  2. How does Pamela …
    1. pay compliments?  C’est sympa ici.
    2. say how she’s feeling? Non, ça va.
    3. express a desire to do something? J’ai envie de visiter la cathédrale.
C’est quelle pièce?

Qu’est-ce que Sandra dit pour montrer chaque pièce? 

The room with the toilet.The room with the sink and bath tub.Sandra shows Pamela the bedroom where Pamela will sleep.

toilettesbains ♦ est à côté ♦ sa chambre

The dining room.The kitchen.

salle à manger ♦ la cuisine

Et maintenant, à toi
Imagine que tu arrives dans une ville française. Qu’est-ce que tu aimerais faire? 
J’aimerais acheter des souvenirs et, visiter  les monuments.
§489 · December 9, 2013 · Uncategorized · (No comments) ·

This semester in Technology class, we have been working on creating a PSA that would benefit a group of people. While making the PSA we had to consider our clients our audience and what kind of effect our PSA would have. I decided to make my PSA about PET Bottle Recycling. I thought that this would be a very important subject, because many people at YIS don’t recycle their PET Bottles. Before making my poster, I created design specifications to critique my finished poster against. The design specifications that I created were as follows.

  • It should highlight a major issue at YIS

  • It should look appealing

  • It should appeal to the target audience

  • It should be something that the client would agree upon

I think that my final poster is a good poster. My poster fits my design specifications. I think that PET Bottle recycling is an important issue, because many people at YIS either don’t recycle their pet bottles or litter. I think that my poster looks appealing, because it catches the readers eye, and the most important part of the poster is easy to see. I also think that this poster appeals to the target audience, which is staff, students and parents in the YIS community. The poster is easy to understand for anyone, and it is something that would easily be noticed by anyone. I also think that the client would like this poster. The poster serves the purpose of attracting the viewer, and it would interest the viewer easily.


I also got responses from my peers about my poster. I used some of these responses to improve my poster. Some people said that I needed to improve the format of the fact in the lower left corner, so I changed the font and the color, so the fact would be easier to read. Another adjustment that I made was changing some of the colors slightly, to improve the color schemes.


Finally I assessed the process that I used to make my poster. I think that my process was successful, because I followed a simple plan that helped me organize my time well. I created a table that helped me split up my time wisely. I used this plan throughout my creation process and it helped me meet the deadline well. I also think that I used the design cycle well, because I split my process into 5 different sections that made my process easy to follow, and it helped me create a successful project.◊

§474 · December 9, 2013 · Uncategorized · (No comments) ·

This past unit in English class we have been working on analyzing and comparing fairy tales. In my final essay, I chose to compare two different versions of Snow White. One version was written by Roald Dahl and one was written by the Grimm Brothers. This is my personal answer to the unit question.

How does story work in the creation, maintenance, and change of culture and social values?

I think that stories help to create, maintain and change culture by sharing messages that are important to each culture. These stories pass on important ideas through a culture, and they will evolve eventually  along with the culture. I think that the stories hold values and ideas that are very important to their specific culture. I think that in the fairy tales it was clear that the stories have changed over time, and the morals in the story had changed. For example, they Dahl version of the story was much more liberal than the Grimm version, which shows that the morals of people have evolved.

Overall, I think that stories are very important to the creation, maintenance  and change of culture. I think that stories are a very important aspect of our cultures and our society.

§455 · November 5, 2013 · English 9 · (No comments) ·

This unit in art class we have been working on observational drawings. Throughout the unit we practiced drawing many different things, and using different techniques. Some techniques that we used were the crates method, the rule of thirds, and the elements of art.

Here is the photo that I chose to draw for my final piece:

Here is my final drawing:

(No photo yet)

Describe the basic composition of your work.

  • In my drawing, there is a faucet. The drawing is generally dark except for the highlights on the metal of the faucet. My drawing uses the rule of thirds and, the crates method. These both helped make the drawing have good proportion and a balanced composition.

How would you assess the quality if your work?

  • I think that I did very well on this piece. I think that I used many different techniques that we learned in class well. I think that the highlights that I used on the metal were successful. Overall, I really like this piece.

How does this work compare to other work you have made in the past?

  • I think that this is much better than many other works that I have done in the past. I think that it was better because I included techniques that improved the quality of the drawing. I am very proud of my drawing because it shows a clear improvement from my previous works.

What do you think you have learnt, or improved on in this project?

  • In this project, I think that I learned how to draw metal well. I think that this is a very important skill for future works. I am also very proud that I learned this skill, because when I started the project, I thought that I wouldn’t be able to draw metal.

Describe what feedback you used from your peers to help develop your work .

  • Some feedback that I got about my work, was that it didn’t have a large range of shades. Most of my picture was dark, except for the highlights. So with this feedback, I decided to make the highlights very white, instead of just making them grey. I think that this feedback really helped me improve my work a lot.

If you had to repeat this project, what would you improve on or do differently and why?

  • If I were to repeat this project, I think that I would spend a bit more time creating my artwork. I think that some parts of the piece were a bit rushed, and if I gave myself more time, I could have improved some aspects of my work.
§457 · November 3, 2013 · Art 9 · (No comments) · Tags: , , , , , , ,

In Technology class we have been working on creating PSAs to highlight issues that are important to us. We are currently working on the Designing and Planning stage. These are the three different posters that I created as options for my final PSA. The topic that I chose was recycling, and more specifically PET Bottle Recycling. (Note: Some of the colors in the PDFs are skewed.)

Option 1 (link):

I like this one because it has a clear color theme. I also like that it has a fact on it. I think that it fits my design specs well. It looks appealing, it is an issue in YIS, and it appeals to the target audience.

Option 2 (link):

I like this one because it is very simple and easy to read. I think that this one also fits my design specs well. It is easy to see, so it is appealing, and easy to read, it is an issue in YIS and it appeals to the target audience.

Option 3 (link):

I really like this one because it is very simple. I like simplistic designs. It again fits my design specs well. It is appealing, an issue in YIS and it appeals to the target audience.


I think that I will choose option 1. I like option one the best because it includes a fact about recycling PET Bottles. I think that this would be more appealing to the viewer, because it would help the learn a new fact which they would remember well. I also like the color scheme that I used, because I like how the greens look together. I think that if I were the client I would use this poster. I also think that this poster would be the most likely to catch the viewers attention, because of the large title, and the interesting photos.


To improve this poster for my final, I think that I will change the images, because the images that I used for this poster were from google images, and I don’t have permission to use them. I also think that I may make some formatting changes, so that the poster will seem more professional, and so that it will seem more interesting and eye-catching to the viewer.

§446 · October 15, 2013 · Tech 9 · (4 comments) ·