Media Fair

Introduction

Today, the whole grade 10 had an opportunity to show their understanding on any any topic they chose that seemed interesting to them and the way that a topic of their choice was portrayed across different types of media(TV advertisement, posters, articles etc). Everybody made a poster analyzing the five types of media on who the intended audience was, what was the attitude or the perspective towards the topic, and the features of each media. For example my topic was on “Cosmetics” and I presented about how advertisements of cosmetics have both good and bad influences to people. Here is a picture of my poster.

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We all had time to go around and look at different people’s posters, so these are the four posters I found very interesting.

Positive Body Image in the Media – Lia M

The first poster I looked at was Lia’s, which her topic was about positive body image in the media.

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First of All I really like how the layout of the poster is very organized and how there is a pink border around the title which effectively draws people’s attention. It very easy for me to go through her writings along with the images. She explained to me that on the left hand side of the poster she analyzed the media that has shown body image in an negative way because of how advertisements only use people that are skinny or tall to make a stereotype that beauty=skinny. On the right hand side she showed medias such as videos that supports the statement of not only skinny or people like models are allowed to have confidence.

Napping – Fuuko K

The next poster I went to look at was Fuuko’s which was about “Napping”.

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Again, her title is very big so it catches people’s eyes, and it is very organized as you can see that the section for different media types is clearly separated and it was very easy to look at. She has told me that during her research she found out that the more simple the message is(less words and short)the more stronger the message will reach the audience because it is very straight to the point.

The Catcher in the Rye – Kate M

After I looked through the poster in my class, I moved to the class next door to find any more posters that looks interesting. I found Kate’s poster very interesting because her topic was a little different from everyone and it was about a book called “The Catcher in the Rye” and looking into why this book is banned to read in many schools.

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She told me that the book was about a 16 year old boy who suffers with deep grief after the death of his younger brother, and he also suffers from not being able to have real friends in school and how he fights or criticize everyone around him. She has analyzed that there are medias that both agrees and disagrees with banning students to read this book. Kate said that books can easily influence the readers feelings or attitudes and she found out that there were some cases where the readers thought of acting as the protagonist in the story and has caused some serious issues. That is why she does also agree not to let students read this book at least in schools, although she thinks that it is important for students to know that there are many types of people who exists in this world.

Tea Cup Dogs – Zerric M

The last poster I thought that was interesting was about “Tea cup Dogs” by Zerric.

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This was about how advertisements only show the good side of tea cup dogs and how they are very small and cute, when actually there is a very serious issues surrounding them. I learned that tea cup dogs are forcefully breaded to become tiny and the truth is that that is causing serious health problems as their organs becomes too small to be able to live long. Advertisement of tea cup dogs are stating that their life span is about 8 to 14 years when actually it is only 2 to 3 years. Also they do not have an explanation of how to take care of tea cup dogs different from normal healthy dogs so they do not break the image of cute small dogs to let many people buy them.

Conclusion

I really enjoyed how everyone chose completely different topics as it showed who had interest in what kind of topic, and by looking at other people’s posters and also while researching my own topic, I found that there is always a good side and a bad side about many things and I learnt that we should always be careful of what medias or advertisement we trust and which ones we do not.

Iya Field Studies 2015

It was 5 in the morning. My alarm clock rang, loud and raspingly. In reluctance, I dragged myself out of the bed with my eyes still half closed. Why this early? Because today is the day a head off to Iya for field studies. I had to check I had not missed anything to put in my suitcase so I do not struggle in the middle of nowhere. Well, it is in Tokushima prefecture(I searched it up), yet between the 15 years I have been living, I have never lived or spent time in the country side, which is the kind of place I am going. To be honest though, I was pretty excited getting ready for this 5 days and 4 nights trip. I was really excited to travel to somewhere new; I thought I could experience a lot of new things and also, it is like having a long sleepover with my good friends.

Day1- The first day was a really calm day since we were mostly on the train. It was not just only me; everyone was very excited about this trip so even though I think people did not have enough sleep, they including myself was full with energy to play cards, UNO and talking about our life… It was a 5-6 hours ride, but I did not feel like the ride was that long because of all the fun we had. Not knowing how much noise we made for other people on the train. oops. The first ride was the longest as far as distance wise, we rode the Shinkansen all the way to Okayama prefecture. Then from there we went on the “Anpan-man Train”. The door, the ceiling, the seats of this train was filled with Anpan-man and everybody got really excited about this. Ofcourse we’re still young enough to like Anpan-man.

Ooboke Station

Ooboke Station

And here we are. The Ooboke Station. The second I got off the train, I was amazed by how surrounded this place was with green. I was able to see mountains 360°. There were no tall buildings like we have in Yokohama, no sound of traffic. Just all green and quiet. I even heard birds singing. Also, what was most amazing was how clear the sky was and how nice the air was. Nothing polluted, everything was just so clear. I took a picture of this view, because I thought I could not easily see this kind of view once again. I aimed my camera to the station sign. But suddenly a group of noisy people came in the way, disturbing my beautiful picture. I was annoyed as a joke, but I am glad that I was able to capture their faces which looks really fun. The second I saw this picture, I knew that this trip was going to be awesome.

Day2- On the second day, we woke up early to get ready to hike up to our lodge on top of a mountain called ‘Tsurugi-san”. We packed out bags with the minimal things we needed to bring to the top of the mountain because we were carrying those bags up with us when hiking. We had a bus ride for about one hour to go to the starting point of the mountain.

Day2 Mountain

We felt so accomplished. For most of us it was a new experience and because our bodies were not used to these kid of exercise, Everybody was really tired. The bento we had on top of the mountain, was delicious. A meal after a good exercise is always good, but definitely the environment we are in, the air, made our lunch taste even better. But this is when the real hiking started.

We had to go back down the mountain we just came up spending one hour. That was just practice. Now we had to go to the foot of Tsurugi-san, so we can hike one way 3 hours to actually reach our lodge. I was depressed. I did not have any confidence that I could climb up the second mountain because a one hour hike already made me feel really exhausted. There were sometimes down hills, but there were may up hill that we had to climb that was steeper than the first mountain. I decided to stay at the back because I did not want to slow down everyone’s pace. But actually, I made it. I was able to climb 1955m to the top of the mountain. I started crying when I saw the lodge, I was full with joy. I thought: “Finally, I was able to lie down in the futons and change into comfortable clothes”. Again, the Japanese dinner we ate at the lodge was absolutely delicious.

The Top Dinner

Day3- On the third day we hiked back down Tsurugi-san to go back to our usual lodge. When we woke up, we all remembered the hike from the day before, and we felt unhappy. Also because today’s menu was a ‘6 hours’ hike back down. ‘6’ hours. But, something really cheered us up. It was the sunrise. This was the first time I saw a sunrise with my own eyes. It was freezing cold outside, but it was amazing watching the sun gradually rising, coming out from the clouds. Actually this day’s hike was not that bad than thought it would because most of it was down hill, I did not use up a lot of energy. After a long long down hike, the climax was the bridge(picture bottom). This bridge is at a really high place and it was really wobbly. Some people were laughing, some people were screaming, some people were closing their eyes, and some people wobbled the bridge on purpose. After all the noisiness, we finally made it to the foot of Tsurugi-san. Everybody was tired, but at the same time we felt very accomplished and that felt very nice. With that nice feeling, we lastly went to an Onsen Facility to heel our tired body.

Sun Rise Bridge

Day4- It was our last day at Iya. Since we spent two days on hiking, it felt like time past really fast. On this day, we made our own soba with kind local people. It was my second time making soba, but it was about 3 years from when I made my first soba, so it was almost like it was my first time. I learned that there is a lot of things you have be careful of when making the soba. How you hold the knife to cut the soba, how you stretch the doe and so on. My arms got really tired, but it was really an enjoyable time making soba with the whole grade.

Kaya Soba

Nitrogen Cycle

This is a diagram my group made showing the Nitrogen Cycle.

All living organisms needs nitrogen to make proteins for themselves. But, the nitrogens in the air has less chemical reactions. Therefore it has to be changed into ammonium and nitrate. After that is done, the animals obtains nitrogens by taking in nitrates/eating plant or animal proteins. There are several ways that nitrogens can be changed into ammonium and nitrate.

One way is, since atmospheric nitrogen cannot be used directly by plants or animals, it does the “Nitrogen fixation” in order to change into ammonium and nitrates. This fixation occurs in the soil and inside the roots of a legumes. Inside the roots of a legumes, there is the Rhizobium bacterium that changes nitrogen to ammonium, then the nitrifying bacterias converts ammonium into nitrites, and then into nitrates.

Another way is lightning. When lighting touches with nitrogen, the nitrogen becomes Nitrogenous compounds which includes nitrates. And those nitrates goes into the soil and combines with the nitrate that was made by the nitrifying bacterias. Plants finally take those nitrates to change them into proteins.

Next, the animal will eat the plant with proteins so they will gain proteins as well. After they ate the plant, their wastes or even dead plants will contain nitrogenous wastes; and those wastes will gradually decompose which releases ammonia.

Now these ammonias will go into the soil, and will be converted to nitrates again by the nitrifying bacterias. Now, half of these nitrates be used again by the plants, but the remaining nitrates will be converted back to atmospheric nitrogen by the “Denitrifying bacteria”, to go back into the air. Therefore, the percentage of nitrogen in the air will always be constant.

This is basically how the nitrogen cycle works.

Work Cited:
Smart Learning for All. “Nitrogen Cycle.” YouTube. YouTube, 25 May 2015.
Web. 17 Sept. 2015.

PSA Video- Phone Addiction

In our design class, everyone has made a PSA video that raises awareness about a certain problem. My topic was about phone addiction. I decided to make this video so that people, especially teenagers could stop being addicted with phones and so that they will talk with the people around them in real life, not just the friends inside the screen.

Here is a “Design Brief” that I made at the beginning of the unit.

The problem I am focusing on is “Phone Addiction”. These days, especially teenagers are on their electronic devices too much because of the variety of social medias, they have less time to talk with their parents or friends face to face. I chose this topic because This was one of my problem as well. When I started using many social medias, I was too concentrated on what was happening on there, I realized that I didn’t have much time to talk with my parents about school, friends, or any other social discussions. I noticed that I wasn’t really thinking about my family’s feelings; I was just thinking about myself having fun. Now I have made a rule to put my phone away when I am in the living room when I am with my family.
That is why I wanted to tell other teenagers how important it is to have a time to talk with the people around you, and how privileged we are to have a family because in many countries many kids don’t have a family and they are always alone. I have made a survey for the Grade 9s to answer about “Use of electronic devices”.
One of my questions was asking how much time people spend on their phone. The most common answer was 3~5 hours with 39%, and 36% of them said that use their phone for more than 5 hours a day. I also asked the time they wake up on school days and what time they sleep. The average time for the 9th graders to sleep was 12pm, and the average time they wake up was 6am. That means that on average, freshmen students only has 6 hours of sleep. If I add these data altogether it would give me how much time they have left to do other things other than phone, school and sleep. 6 hours of sleep + 7 hours of school, + 5 hours of phone is 18 hours in total. This tells me that they only have 6 hours left to do other things like bath, meals, housework, and most importantly time to talk with their parents. I thought that 6 hours of extra time is too short.
Also, according to big think, they say that they found out that 60% of teenagers becomes anxious if they don’t have their phone; that is more than half of them. Psychology Today said that when you have phone addiction, you check your phone right away it vibrates, your grades can fall because of procrastination.
These are the reasons why I am going to make a PSA video to persuade middle school and high school students to not use their phone too much, and to make a time to talk with people. I will add the facts that I have researched about phone addiction to warn people why it is not good to use their phone too much. I will choose facts that will make teenagers react; facts about sleep, homework and others that relates closer with people in this age level to catch their attention and to really tell my message. I will also find informations on the internet and find out what teenagers can do to prevent phone addiction to make theme feel relieved(don’t just scare them, help them as well).
This is what kind of PSA I was planning to make at the beginning of this unit.

Now here is my final PSA video.

World Tonality Melody

In class, I made a 32 measures melody using the blues scale. The notes I used are below:

C Blues Scale

 

I chose the blues scale out of the scales we researched for the world tonality magazine last time. The first thing I did was to make a riff for my melody. That way I would be able to make repetition through my music by changing the keys. Although I want repetition, I also wanted to have contrast between different parts so in some parts I made the pitch high, some low, some fast and some slower.

First I was struggling to come up with may melodies for 32 bars, but once I started repeating the riffs, I started to come up with melodies that would fit the riffs.

This is my final product.

Audio File

PDF

Blues Scale Melody PDF

Graphic Novel

In english class, we have been reading and learning about graphic novels and how these tells a story in different ways without words.

I read Maya’s graphic novel. Her story is about loneliness and betraying. This is one of the most concerned problems between teenagers. I think her comic should be read by other teenagers as well because it clearly shows how one person can betray the other, and how the one who was betrayed can hurt a lot.

I really liked how her scene went back to 5 years ago, and then how is comes back again at the end. She shows how Flora is betraying Hester when Hester didn’t five years ago when she was popular. It helped me understand the story because the second page showed the reason why and how Hester is lonely. I also like how she showed movement in Hester’s feeling on the last four panels, and how she drew Flora’s hair on the last panel to emphasize that Hester is been left alone in this white empty space.

The difference between reading a article or a story, and reading a graphic novel is that stories has lots of words that describes what the scene is like, so you are able to imagine what the story is like and what the characters are like. But graphic novels already has those character and their feelings shown in a drawing so it helps you understand the story more quickly. There is another way to have fun reading graphic novels; you can find new things in the drawing, and find out why the author chose to draw the certain image, or why they chose to use those size of panel, and many more.

Educational Game

In Design Class, everyone in grade 9 made an educational game on Scratch for the elementary students. The goal of my game was to teach the kids some multiplication and to make it interesting so that they can play it again to memorize some equations. so here is my game below:

Some improvements that I can do for my game is to figure out how to make the music last for the whole time so when the students are playing, it won’t be silent and so they won’t get bored. Another thing that I could improve on is changing the level of each question. When the elementary students actually played my game, some of them told me that they learnt some multiplication, but most of them already knew the answers to them. So what I can do is make maybe 3 levels for them to choose at the beginning of the game so everyone of them can learn something new.

Although I had need some improvements, I think my game was a success because the kids seem to have fun while playing and somehow my final product met my aim.

Second Performance – Reflection.

Last class, everybody had a second chance of performing our song that we composed to show our improvement after the first performance. I think our group really improved compared to the very first performance we did and overall.

One of the problem was we were not able to match everybody’s parts together as a whole song event hough each part was composed well. After we re-noticed that after the performance, we practiced more as a group to make sure so that the song came together. The first part we fixed was the drum part. Because in the first part our drum, for most of the time went all over the place; therefore we decided to add a drum sound that is going to be played in the background so even though the actual drum sound messes up, we will have a back up so the other members can follow that to keep playing, and also the drum person can listen to that to get back in. Another thing we added was harmonization. Because originally are song only had one tone of voice, so we thought is we harmonize(since there were two singers in our group) the song will sound more interesting. The other reason we harmonized is because our song was mostly repetition, when we only had one tone is was kind of boring to listen. That is why we tired to make it more interesting.

Some of the good points for working in a group is we get to share ideas for our song so there is are multiple suggestions for making the song better; although our group had to work on working together, we still had some good ideas in discussions. Another thing that is good is you do not have to worry about making the whole song by yourself. I think some people prefers to make it by themselves, but personally it was really helpful because we were able to separate the rolls and we succeeded to make the song faster than I thought it would take.

By practicing as a group rather than as an individual like we were before the first performance, we used our time more wisely to practice all together so we were confident when the time came for the final performance.

Music Performance mini Reflection

Last lesson, we performed our song. After we performed I thought that we could had done way better. So as a group we thought of several points that we can improve on.

The first suggestion was adding drum sound in garage band for back up so if Joseph makes a mistake we can still keep the beat going. Katarina and Fuuko will practice together to sync the bass line and the chord so it sounds better. And we decided for Joseph to play the real drum rather than the small drum that has only one sound, so the beat sounds more interesting. And we thought of Wataru harmonizing with me just for the chorus so the song won’t be boring.

And the last thing we talked about was about how we have to stay focused when we are performing. This is one of the most basic rules as a performer but some of the members started talking to the audience or started laughing when they made a mistake which was a really poor performance attitude. Even though we some how made it all the way through, I think we have to remind ourselves to stay focused and show that on stage so we look like we are actually taking this performance seriously.

Next time when we show our improved performance, I hope we do much better.

Chords, Base Lines, & Melody

In the past few lessons, during the process of our song composition, we have learned how to make a base line and a melody using chords.

To make a bass line we need a chord and a rhythm. To make my rhythm I decided to have 4 quarter notes in one measure; and keeping that in mind I made a 8 measure long rhythm. Because I already have the chord that we chose to use as a group, what I had to do next is I had to fit the notes in the chord to the rhythm. But since the chord is a major chord and we want to make a Bass line, what I did was convert the major triads in to a bass triad looking at the images below.

C major scale

Minor Scale

 

 

 

Once the triads in the chord were converted to minor chords, now I just had to fit these notes to the rhythm I have.

My bass Line

As you can see above, the I chord which is the first triad in the chord is used for the rhythm in the first measure, the IV chord which is the second triad in the chord is used for the second measure, and so on.

Next, to make a melody using the same chord,  is really similar to how we made the bass line. And I think it is easier because we can just leave the chord on whatever scale it is on; the chord that we’re using is in a F Major scale so we can just leave it as it is. After making a rhythm again with 4 quarter notes in one measure, now we just have to fit the chord(triads) to the rhythm.

Creating Melody from Chords

In class I made 3 different possible melodies that we can maybe use in our actual song.