Reflection on Media Fair

Yesterday, June 8th our 10th grade english class had a media fair where everyone made a poster showing different how the media portrays certain controversial topics. I think the biggest purpose of this whole event was to show people different perspectives on certain topics and raise awareness or educate people on certain topics they may have never known about.

  • select 3-5 participants to write about (refer to them by FIRST NAMES only).

Alina did a poster about stay at home dads and how they are portrayed in the media. She had three positive sources(magazine article, campaign poster, and a TV commercial) and three negative sources (song, self-help book and a political cartoon) on stay at home dads. I think what was the most interesting thing about this topic is that it focused on the sexism men face on this topic. Just because people consider that men can’t handle being domesticating and taking care of their kids (which is usually a “woman’s job”) they like to say that they are men who lost their jobs and unemployed and lazy, and somehow sees that this would emasculate men. However, in ways this topic was a little sexist towards women too since some of the sources said that men should be working since statistically women don’t get paid as much. Therefore they cannot support their family on their own unlike men.

Alina's Poster

Alina’s Poster

The next poster I was able to get a presentation on was Margot’s and it was about plus sized models. Her sources were mostly positive (movie, PSA, Ad, and poem) on the issue besides one source which was an article. What the article claimed was that “plus-size models” are actually just “obese women” and should not be considered role models since girls will see them and think that they can eat themselves to unhealthy bodies. This lead me to have an interesting discussion where we talked about how people think that “plus size” and “obesity” are the same thing when they clearly aren’t. People misconceive that a lot of these models “eat their insecure feelings” making them “fat” when really they are naturally like that. This also shows a lot of hypocrisy amongst the modelling world when runaways always show ridiculously skinny girls who can be considered “anorexic” but they just bat an eye away from it. While if they see a woman who is curvy they criticise them for eating too much when they are naturally like that unlike some of these size 0 models who starve themselves to get that body shape.

Margot's Poster

Margot’s Poster

The final poster I was able to look at was Caycee’s which was about “hafu” or “happa” which is about people who are half Japanese and how they are portrayed in the media. Japan recently has gotten better with tolerating foreign influence but they still have a long way to go in terms of accepting people who are still Japanese and also another nationality. I thought this was very interesting considering Caycee and I are both considered “hafu” so we were talking about “talents” who are hafu and Japanese people idolise. There’s even online tutorials as to how to look “hafu” which Caycee and I both thought was weird considering everyone who is hafu does not look the same and people always assume that hafu means half Japanese half white which is not the case all the time. There are even hafu who looks more asian or looks more white/other nationality and we both noticed that people tend to idolise the ones who look more “white”. Therefore they call the ones that don’t look “pretty” or look more Japanese as “zannen hafu” (shame hafu) meaning that they think that it is a shame that this person who is mixed race is not “pretty”. Which lead to Caycee and I disagreeing on whether or not we like these “hafu” idols. Caycee thought they were cool cause they were pretty and nice but I disagreed with her since I thought they were not exactly good role models for young hafu who are struggling with being different. I didn’t think that these idols were healthy because they never advocate about the mistreatment hafu faces and they only sell this cute face they have, so if they are the only hafu we can look up to, it just subconsciously tells us “be famous and cute like us, and maybe you’ll be accepted here.”.

Caycee's Poster

Caycee’s Poster

Adventure: Travel Across Burma (Day 4)

This was our final day in Shan State, I think this was the day where I got to know the cons of this environment. I had some idea of how this country was flawed, but I think this was the day where I was most exposed to the country’s corruption.

The first thing on our schedule of the day was to visit one of the region’s greatest pagodas. Before we left, our group visited a temple with a great Buddha statue. The Buddha image was in a small room where there were decorations, so we all had to take our shoes off. I did this until I realized that only men can enter the room and the women had to stay outside and see the Buddha from a far distance.

Forbidden Stupa

Forbidden Stupa

For those who do not know Burma, it is a very superstitious country, and its beliefs can be very rational on one hand but very conservative on the other. For example, Ne Win (the former Prime Minister of Burma) was told by numerologists and fortunetellers that the number 9 will bring him the most luck. Therefore, he changed the whole currency so all of the kyat bills ended in 99. This same kind of thinking again applies to my next point as to why women were not allowed into that certain room. Women around Burma are not allowed to enter certain places, because in local traditions blood is considered to be a weakness of the body. Therefore, since women shed blood once a month, it is believed that the blood they shed will ruin the pure and holy spirit of the temple. This is why none of the women in the group or the residents could enter.

Burmese Stupa

Burmese Stupa

This same concept applied to the next place we entered, which was one of the great pagodas of Burma. The Gang Hmaw Pagoda is known to be one of the most ancient and sacred pagodas of Burma. It is known that many politicians come here all the way from the capital city to pray at the pagoda, and it is said that every time their wishes became true. There were many smaller pagodas that decorated the temple before they were destroyed in World War II by Japanese air raids. However, after the war, one monk took charge of rebuilding the pagodas into its present beautiful condition. I also realized while I was exploring that you can climb onto these pagodas. No one was really paying attention to what I was doing. I saw a man standing on the top on them, so I thought it was perfectly fine for me to go to the same spot. I was able to take a couple of pictures, when one of our Burmese tour guides quietly told me, “No women allowed.” I slightly panicked that I had superstitiously ruined the holy place of the pagoda. However, I then had to consider that I couldn’t have been the first woman to stand where I was standing in the span of the 800 years this pagoda has been standing.

Wong Metta Union and Anti Drug Trafficking

Wong Metta Union and Anti Drug Trafficking

Soon after we were done with visiting the pagoda, we went to visit a nearby temple. We then again did our usual routine as at the previous nunneries and monasteries. The monastery had a school and was part of this large Wong Metta Credit Union. However, what was different about this monastery is that they had an anti drug organization, which tried to stop drug trafficking in the village. This village has been going through problems with drug trafficking since the 80’s especially with amphetamines, opium, and heroin. They had a recent incident where a man slit his wife’s and his child’s throat after taking a dose of drugs. Not surprisingly, once the adults are exposed, then the adolescents are exposed, which has also led the children being exposed to drugs. Since the problem has been escalating since the 80’s, they finally decided to make an organization to stop this.

Head Monk in Nam

Head Monk in Nam

After we were done with our session with the monastery, we had our lunch and finally set out for our next stop at a former Shan state prince’s palace in Hsipaw. However, this was more like a summer lodge or summer palace, not a typical South East Asian grand palace. The palace’s exterior looked very much like a British Victorian house. However, it has been abandoned for years, and no royal family lives in it now. The concrete is cracked, and there were a lot of weeds in the garden. However, we did meet a royal family member, who was the descendent of one of the other Shan state’s tribal leaders. She graciously told us the recent history of the Shan’s royal family bloodline. The prince who built the palace had lived in Britain so he made a British looking house rather than living with his father in the main palace. However, he died of tuberculosis with no heir, so his nephew ended up inheriting the throne. Since his nephew spent a couple of years in America, he ended up coming home with an Austrian wife. His wife was one of the first foreigners to ever marry into royalty in the region. She learned to speak and write in the language to better connect with the people of the region. They had two daughters that were of mixed Burmese and Austrian blood. However, when the first prime minister of Burma, U Nu, was overthrown by General Ne Win in 1961, Ne Win summoned all the royalty of Burma’s regions to Yangon (Rangoon). They were then arrested on the spot without a proper hearing or charge. The Austrian wife was afraid that the Burmese government would try to find her and take away her children. Therefore, she immediately went to the Austrian embassy in Yangon and tried to certify her children as Austrian citizens. They were then immediately helped and escaped from the country. Finally, after ten years of imprisonment, the royalty were finally released from prison. However, her husband, one of the tribal chiefs of Shan State, was nowhere to be seen and never heard from again. She had been told that he was murdered, however, the government did not say a single word about his whereabouts. Therefore, every year on the anniversary of his death/disappearance, the wife and her children write a letter to the Burmese government asking where he is, and every single time the government refuses to reply. Since then, the wife has married an American and has written a book about her life in Burma called Twilight Over Burma. The book is currently banned in Burma. However, the woman there offered us the book in Burmese, Shan, English, and Thai.

Shan Royalty

Shan Royalty

Since that was our final day and that was our final visit, we finally went back to Pyin Oo Lwin. There was a 6 – 8 hour drive ahead of us and not much happened besides when these “security check” men came to our car. These average clothed men suddenly walked up to our car with flashlights and one man climbed on top of our van to look at the suitcases. I was too tired to really take notice of what was going on until my father whispered to me (gun-tai) which means military in Japanese. Since there is more of a chance of Burmese understanding English than Japanese whenever something secretive came up, my father always told me in Japanese what was happening. I was a little panicked when I heard this. Then again I was tired, so it was kind of an annoyance to me rather than a frightening experience. It was not that bad in a wat since all they were doing was checking our bags and not pulling us out of the car and arresting us. However, I did find it a little idiotic that they would go to so much trouble just to look at our bags that just had clothes, toiletries, pens, paper, food, music devices, and maybe a camera.


After this, we finally arrived at Pyin Oo Lwin. We then stayed there for a couple of days and went back to Mandalay. These days were not as eventful and we were not visiting everywhere so I will not tell the stories of what happened at this place. However, in the end I was able to fully reflect on what happened and got some rest during these days.

I was happy in the sense that I was exposed to all of this and could see such things. However, I was starting to miss my life back in Japan, so I was starting to feel a little home sick. In ways I am very glad I do not get homesick very easily. I remember on my first field studies in sixth grade, some people were crying on the first day because they were in a different region far from home. However, here I was in a different country with no way of contacting home since even the landline at the monastery we were staying had a horrible connection. I think in this way it helped me to fully experience everything, since I do not keep thinking of home when I see everything. I do compare it, but in ways I do not get sick to my stomach because I do not miss it. Even sometimes when I am back at home, I wish I were somewhere else because I am sick of home. Therefore, I was glad to find out what were my limits and how far I can stretch my limit. However, if I were to do this again, I would like to stretch my limit even further. I do not know why I wish this, because I did not like the conditions of how I needed to stretch my limit. However, everyone can learn more and that is exactly what I want to do. I want to learn more about interesting topics; I want to have more experiences; and I want to freely reach my limit without anyone stopping me. Therefore, in the end if I were to have another chance to have a trip like this I would love to stretch my limit even further.

Design PSA

The problem I am going to be focusing on for this PSA is the lack of sleep for students on a daily basis. It has come to my attention since I have a problem with this as well, and it does affect my daily life and others. The lack of sleep that students get can affect moods, it also increases the risk of depression. Also having less sleep is correlated to people who drop out of sleep and have a higher possibility of heart disease. According to a couple of sources teenagers sleep less than adults do and experience more depression than an average adult does. Therefore it has caught my attention of this since we are younger and we are still new to this world as to why we have problems with the lack of sleep we get.

I hope you enjoy 🙂

Adventure: Travel Across Burma (Day 3)

Usually when we go to markets, we go to super markets or malls where all of the shops and restaurants are concentrated in one large spot. This is unlike Burma where the shops and food markets are crammed right next to each other in one tiny spot where there is only one pathway wide enough to fit one to two people. In Southeast Asian countries, there are a lot of local village markets. This is unlike western markets, where on one floor we have the clothes shopping and on the next floor there’s the food court. This would seem like a dream to a Southeast Asian local market where there are no sections, no separate floors, and everything is crammed together. At one point in the market in Lashio, I was walking around and saw an iPod right next to some spicy pickles. There was also a very strong stench in the market since everything was fresh. You could smell the food’s freshness, which is not always the most pleasant thing to smell. There were also so many different smells that I could never pinpoint. Again, since everything was crowded next to each other, I could walk in one certain area and smell pickles, and then the next step I took, I could smell flowers. What was also interesting were the things they were selling. For example, until this trip, I never knew that people ate pig’s feet. What was also interesting was that they were selling used iPods that were just simply repackaged and had repainted buttons. I do not know exactly if it is just Burma that resells or reuses things from western or highly developed countries like Japan. However, I was quite interested in how a lot of Burmese people had old Japanese cars and sold a lot of used iPods. In a way, it felt like I was always time traveling back in time whenever I would see these little things.

Lashio Food Market

Lashio Food Market

D2Lashio market ipods

Sold iPods and Cigarettes









After we were done going to the local market, we went back to the nunnery to ask the head nun about how they ran the nunnery. Like the monastery we previously visited, they had a micro crediting fund, part of the Wong Metta Credit Union, and a school that went from kindergarten to tenth grade, which is the same system as the state schools in Burma. However, unlike the monastery where there are monks that people respect and go to for good omens and ceremonies, these communities see the nuns as lesser than monks or not even ordained at all, just female Buddhists. Since there is that problem, it is harder for nuns to receive sponsors, because people do not see the point in helping nuns. Nuns are not monks, meaning that they cannot perform certain rituals or ceremonies to bring good luck. Therefore, people prefer to sponsor monks more than nuns. Therefore, the nunnery has to do extra work to keep raising money, so they can continue their programs. For example, they make and sell organic soaps and shampoos to raise extra money. In our group, there was a bikkhuni—the female equivalent to a monk, called a bhikkhu, who has higher status than a nun and is fully ordained. She is from Thailand and is very interested in the discrimination the nuns get in Burma. Bikkhuni Dhammananda is the first officially ordained bikkhuni in Thailand, so she is very familiar to the sexist discrimination in the conservative Buddhist world. She was ordained in Sri Lanka, which was the first country of the conservative Theravada tradition, common to Burma and Thailand, that ordained bikkhunis. These bikkhunis usually get ordained by ones from Taiwan, which is from the reform Mahayana tradition common to also Korea and Japan. In Taiwan, there are actually more bikkhunis than monks and are more widely respected than other bikkhunis in other countries.

Head Nun

Head Nun

Bikkhuni Dhammananda

Bikkhuni Dhammananda









While we were having this talk, the nun also said that she was up to hearing any suggestions as to how they can improve their educational program. I thought maybe I would suggest something that even the education I am provided does not have. I thought it would be good that the nunnery could make improvements that even some expensive educations cannot provide. At least based on the education that I am receiving, I have always wondered about and wanted some sort of class that would teach me how to deal with my bills, résumé, and anything financial. I always feel that the only thing that matters so far in my education is how to get into a good college and how you will need this or that for college. There is nothing if I decide to not go to college and apply straight for a job, or how to maintain my life financially. Therefore, I suggested to the nun that maybe they should have a class or program dedicated to teaching children how to maintain their lives financially since they come from poor economic backgrounds. Their parents are probably also not good at financially maintaining their lives. Therefore, it is not as if their parents can teach them how to maintain their lives financially. The nun said she will consider the suggestion. However, it will be very unlikely for me to know whether or not this suggestion will happen.

Wong Metta

Wong Metta Credit Union


At the end of the day, we arrived at a monastery in the remote town of Nam where they were reciting Buddhist poetry until late at night. At this point of the trip, I was starting to wish the community I lived in is similar to this, which I never knew I was ever going to feel during this trip. In the communities there, everyone is close no matter how poor or unfortunate you are, and you always have some kind of sanctuary at the temple to go to if you are in trouble. They will come together and party together whenever they want, starting late at night until the sun rises. They know everyone in the community, and they are willing to help them with whatever they have. No matter how safe or how comfortable we feel in our homes, I think that the communities that my peers and I live in lack that. We lack this feeling of spontaneity and of closeness. I could be very wrong about this, but at least in the communities that I have lived in I feel that we lack that.

Adventure: Travel Across Burma (Day 2)

This was the day where we did a lot of travelling and was a very restless day. I also will take this day as the day when I was the most exposed to Burmese culture. So far the only thing I had been exposed to in Burmese culture was more of monasteries and living conditions, and not much of the festivities and customs. Actually, I was going to be more exposed to the sub culture of the Shan people who are Burmese but not Burman, so this is still “Burmese” culture but not mainstream Burmese culture.

The first thing we did on this day was to go on a four-hour train ride into Shan state, which is the northeastern part of Burma. The Shan have a lot of Thai culture blended into them since Thailand is on the eastern border of Burma. They are ethnically the same as the Thais and not the same ethnic group as the Burmans. Therefore, the Thais that were travelling with us were able to communicate easier with the Shan people since their language has a lot of similarities to each other. Since the area has gone through a long conflict between the Burmese, there were a lot of conflict zones in the area between the Shan military and the Burmese military. Fortunately, I was not exposed to any conflict or military in the area as much as I was expecting. However, in our traveling group our guides did say that all the military were all under cover, which made sense later on.

Shan Landscape

Shan Landscape

The first thing we did after we arrived in Shan state was we went to another Buddhist monastery in Kyaukeme. However, this monastery was a little different to the one we had been staying in. First of all, they had a Buddha statue with electric illuminations around its head to show the prominence of Buddha’s halo. In a way, I thought it was a little funny since the kind of illuminations they were using around the Buddha are similar to the ones in Japan advertising shops or karaoke. Secondly, the monastery had a school built into it, not just for monks but also for any children in the community. Usually, the kids that would come to this monastery for an education are children from a poor economic family background and the parents cannot afford a state school education. In these remote areas, the government also does not even provide schools for anyone. Therefore, as I said earlier, a monastery can be a sanctuary for anyone, especially people with poor economic backgrounds. Thirdly, the monastery had a health clinic for the community. Therefore, if someone were to get a cold, they could just come to this clinic for medicine. Finally, this monastery had a micro credit fund for anyone who needed financial support, which was part of a larger association called the Wong Metta Credit Union. As I covered in my global perspectives reflection, micro credit in Buddhist parts of Asia originates mainly from temples where community members have come and asked for financial support. However, it became more of a boom all around South and Southeast Asia thanks to the work of Dr. Ariyaratne and the Sarvodaya Shramadana movement over the last fifty years.

Illuminating Buddha

Illuminating Buddha

Picture with Monastery Students











What really surprised me when I arrived at the temple was the lavish ceremony they had waiting for us. The second we came out of the van to go into the temple there were little children giving us flowers one by one. They were so many of them; in the end I had a bouquet full of yellow flowers. Not only were there the children, but also there were ladies dressed in traditional Shan dresses dancing in a circle around instrumental performers. They all of course had thenutkher (yellow powder) pasted on their face and their dresses were very colorful. There were also instrumental performers, who had interesting tribal instruments. The interesting thing about most tribal music, at least the ones I have been exposed to, is that most of the song’s purpose is to keep the dancers moving to a beat more than a melodic masterpiece that you sit down and just to listen to. One of the instruments was a series of drums aligned into one row where a man hit them with a wooden cylinder that was connected to a series of sticks that would hit all of the drums at the same time. Besides all of these other acts going on, the main part of the whole show was an animal god dance. This looked the same as the Chinese costumed dragon dance where a series of people are dressed inside the dragon’s limbs that connect together to make a big dragon. However, think of this whole concept on a smaller scale with an animal that resembles more like a deer. It was very interesting to watch, since it seemed as if the dancers were actually the deer or more like the forest god from the movie Princess Mononoke. It is usually customary in cultures like these that the dancers go into a form of trance, which is usually achieved through taking a drug or alcohol to help the dancer to act out the spirit of the animal god.

Monastery Dance

Monastery Dance

shan dance

the Instruments









At the end of the day, we ended up staying at a nunnery in Lashio, which is a hundred kilometers away from the monastery in Kyaukeme. I slept that night in a tiny kindergarten classroom. What I will always take away from this day is the exposure that I got. Also what I do realize is that the people who welcomed us to the temple were as unexposed to us as we to them. We never knew what kind of dance the Shan do, and they were never really exposed to so many foreigners at once. I think this explains why they were so fascinated about us as we were about them. They all wanted pictures taken with us since we looked different and exotic. We had brown hair and foreign styled clothes that probably they only saw either in movies or when they dyed their hair that color. They were as fascinated as we were fascinated by their tribal dance and their dresses.

Group Photo at Monastery

Group Photo at Monastery

Adventure: Travel Across Burma (Day 1)

Dogs in Temple

Dogs in Temple


Ever since I was a little eight year old watching the TV at my Japanese grand parents house and hearing the news about how a military gunman killed a Japanese journalist during the Saffron Revolution just for taking a picture, I always had a special interest in Burma. When I come to think of it, it was the first time I took special interest in the world and fully realized that I lived in a society where not everyone was blessed; and that I lived in a society where I was on one side of the fence where everything was grand and was fortunate unlike Burma which was on the other side of the fence in poverty and was looked down upon. I remember I was so curious as to why a military soldier that was there to protect a country would kill an innocent foreigner along with thousands of their people. I was especially curious as to why someone would be killed just for speaking out his or her mind. Therefore, I felt sorry for the state of how Burma was since I heard more stories from my parents about how the military would even kill and torture monks, which is one of the most evil things you can do in Buddhism. I also was inspired by the story of Aung San Suu Kyi who stood up against the military. I was surprised that she was a woman, because it is rare to have a female political leader, considering that I come from America and Japan where both countries have not had a woman running the country in the parliamentary era. This is why I was excited to say yes to my father’s offer when he asked me if I wanted to go to Burma with him.

I travelled with my father and his colleagues since this was my father’s business trip. My father invited me since my mother was not going to be around the house around the time he would have gone to Burma and also he thought it would have been interesting if I got a cultural exposure to Burma. Therefore, I got to meet his co-workers and had real exposure to what kind of line of work he was in. My father works with a group called INEB (International Network of Engaged Buddhists) and they decided that their executive board meeting was going to be in Burma. INEB is a network of people spanning all different kinds of countries. They are especially interested in trying to help countries in Southeast Asia and South Asia with Buddhist-Muslim conflict. At their main conferences in the past, they have often had actual Burmese monks speaking about the conflicts that have been happening in Burma. This time, INEB board members were given the opportunity to tour around certain areas of Burma, so they could see for themselves the problems the country was facing. It gave me excitement that I would be able to see with my own eyes of all of the stories I had heard about Burma.

Day 1:

I first arrived in Burma through Mandalay airport from Bangkok airport. My first impressions of the country were very interesting, since I have had some exposure to Burmese people and culture when I went to Phuket for field studies. However, I only had a minimum exposure to the culture since the only cultural fact I knew was that the Burmese used a yellow powder (thenutkher) as a form of makeup. I also never knew that most of the vehicles used in Burma were old used Japanese public transit or Japanese made cars, not necessarily just Japanese brand cars. For example, at the airport since the airplane did not connect to a boarding gate, we had to use a bus to get to the airport. What I was not expecting was an old Japanese transit bus from 1982. The way I was able to tell it was a Japanese bus was because the writing around the bus was in Japanese. All the ads were in Burmese, however, the button you press to show that you were getting off the bus was still in Japanese. It was an interesting experience since it felt as if I were time traveling back to the 80’s like in the movie Back to the Future.

XJapanese bus1

Inside the Bus

After an hour-long drive from the airport, it took me a while to realize that where we were going to stay in a Buddhist monastery. I thought that I should have realized this sooner or later since my father researches, writes, and is active in Engaged Buddhism. Therefore, it became obvious that we would stay somewhere that matches his line of work, that is, not a five star hotel. However, before I came to the monastery I did not know that ordinary people were allowed to stay in monasteries. What I thought before was if you wanted to go to a monastery, it would be as a sanctuary from whatever your troubles were or if you were interested to become a monk or nun. However, if you are staying in a monastery whether you are a traveler or a monk, you have to abide by their rules. This means you cannot waste any of your food, what you take is what you eat. Also you cannot kill or harm any animals intentionally, which means you cannot even kill a mosquito if it is sucking on your blood right in front of you. I do have to say even though they had this rule, I do not think they exactly treated their animals fairly at this monastery. Whenever anyone or I would even get close to dogs there, they would not even bark at you to stay away. They would put their heads down as if they are ready to accept a punishment.

Dogs in Temple

Dogs in Temple

What was also interesting were the living conditions. This was a very humbling experience and also tested my limit as to how far my comfort zone can stretch. The water you could never trust to put near your mouth, therefore, even for brushing your teeth we had to use filtered water from a water bottle to clean the toothbrush. Most of the toilets were squatters, and only one shower had hot water, which was not even much of a shower. In most developing countries what you usually do is pour water through a tap into a big bucket and then scoop up the water from the bucket and rinse yourself with the water. It’s almost like taking bath in a traditional Japanese style, however, you cannot get into a bath and the water is cold. We would bathe during the day since it is cold in northern Burma at this time of year. What also tested my limit was that my dorm room where I was staying did not have any mattress and instead just had a sheet over a rug on top of a hard wooden floor. Not only did this hurt my back, even at the age of fourteen, but when the night would come and it went down to 13 degrees (celsius), I could feel the cold seeping through my sheets from the floor. Nonetheless, I consider this a very humbling and great experience since when I came home I appreciated more of everything that is familiar to me. I feel very fortunate since I know probably most of these monks and people living in conditions like these do not know what a hot streaming shower is like or even fast streaming Wi-Fi too.



13 Reasons Why (Jay Asher) Book Trailer

During english class this week we were asked to create a book trailer for a book we have read the past couple of months. In those past couple of months I have been reading a book called 13 reasons why which is a book about a girl who committed suicide called Hannah Baker. However, before she dies she sends out tapes to those she says are the reasons why she committed suicide. It follows a boy called Clay who eventually receives the tapes since it is sent in the order of the stories that Hannah tells where she tells how it has contributed to her committing suicide. as the books progress you see how these tapes effect each individual who heard them and how they see the world in the end.

I hope you enjoy this video 🙂


Hannah Baker Voice: Sam Coutts

Clay: Marlon Neto-Bradley

Alex: Arunansu Patra

Jessica: Aruna Watts

Song: Climbing Up The Walls – Radiohead

Performance Reflection


A couple of weeks ago we had to perform out own pop song based on a melody one of our group members made in the early stages. For this song we chose Alina’s melody for the verse and combined it with Maria’s chord progression. All we had to do was make a a chorus and lyrics. For the first verse Ahnaf’s lyrics and for the chorus were my lyrics which Alina checked over and helped me perfect the lyrics. Then the second verse was Alina’s lyrics and the chorus’s chord was created by me and with Alina perfecting the transitions.

Working in a music group is a lot of work than probably most people think. Since people never know how you first need to scout people out for their certain skills. How you need to find a song that is achievable and that is not too challenging and that sounds good. Then finally how the group’s dynamic works so you can see if working as a team effort is going to work. I think this is one of the most important things if you’re in a music group because it is going to be hard to make a faire group collaboration if we do not agree with each other. This is why usually when I do performances with more than one person no matter hard it is I will try to perform with a friends. Thankfully, I have friends who know music and know how to play music with some kind of instrument other than piano therefore I am glad that I had that experience and I was comfortable with this before coming into this situation. Since for this music project I was working with people who necessarily did not know how to play music or a piano therefore we had to use some class time teaching them how to play this and how to execute the notes properly so the song works. Also I was working with people I would not go to if I wanted to perform something therefore I found the experience fun in a way but very challenging since also most of the group had different musical backgrounds. For example, I have more of a rock music background along with that Alina had a pop music background more than rock and some of the others in the group had a rap R&B background. Therefore there was the challenge to find a way to fuse these tastes together to make everything work. We accomplished this by making by making the song sound electric which worked with my rock background. Let Alina make the chord progression which gave a pop edge to it and as I said we let Ahnaf write his rap which we turned into a verse. I think what I will always take away from this experience is the blend of people and level of experience we had to figure through since Alina and I were very comfortable with each other since we have worked together a lot however it wasn’t only about us anymore. In a way it helped me make good compromises to morph the song into something I was not experienced in before and I did not have much control over which in the end lead to a good song therefore I am glad of my experiences.


Before this I never have played a bass and I never had any prior experience with it besides randomly picking it up in music class and stupidly jamming with my friends without having a single clue as to what I was playing. I knew the bass had the same bottom four strings as the guitar which is the only prior knowledge I had of the bass. Therefore I was happy to know that I had the chance to play the bass in this. Since Alina was going to play the guitar, Maria was going to play the piano and I had no sense of beat therefore I was not going to try the drums therefore I went for the bass since that was the last option. At first I was a little confused where the placement of everything was and half of the time I was guessing where the notes were based on how high or low they sounded. However after a while I got a hang of it and I know now how to mediocrely play the bass which I am glad I picked up this skill therefore incase if I am going to have to play a bass part again I will gladly do so.