Expeditions Reflection

After the Niigata trip, I learned resilience, self-reliance, collaboration, appreciation, and balance. I was able to really bond with certain people and spend time with friends that I haven’t been able to spend much time with. I learned new skills such as starting fires, setting up tents, etc. that will definitely help me in the future. I’ve never been hiking before and this was honestly the best way to try it for the first time, with such supportive and fun people. Singing along with people that I usually don’t talk to much in school while hiking through such beautiful scenery together was unforgettable. Learning about the environment and the effect we have over it was interesting as well. The most important lesson we learned, I believe, is the balance between individualism and collaboration. There are times where we will clash in conflict, but it is important to although we should hold our opinions, we should respect others’ opinions just the same. It’s hard to stay calm and understanding when there is conflict, but it is extremely important to find this balance. I took certain risks such as being in the very front a few times. This experience allowed me to disconnect from technology but connect with people. screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-2-14-07-pm

GCD Fit For Life Grade 9 Reflection

Note: This is a first draft. Not completed.

Freshman year has been a very valuable experience as a whole. I was able to learn new lessons both in school and outside of school, that I will keep and remember throughout my life. Figuring out my VIA strengths and receiving my strengths and comparative weaknesses allowed me to view myself as a person better, and have a better idea of what type of a person I am. Although the MBTI results were very interesting, since there were only a limited amount of mixes of letters that we could get, I think it failed to really describe our personalities accurately. However, mine was mostly accurate, and I learned that I am an extrovert. This is useful to know since I understand now that being around people will help me destress.

Mi Familia

Me llamo Helena y tengo 15 años. En mi familia somos cuatro, mi padre, mi madre, mi hermano menor, y yo. Tengo muchos tíos y primos también, pero no muchas tías.

Mi padre y mi madre tienen 44 años. Son de Corea.

Mi padre se llama John. La altura de mi padre es media. Es muy cómico y siempre me hace reir. A causa del trabajo de padre, nos mudamos mucho. Personas me dicen que me parezco a él.

Mi madre se llama Lea. Ella es más baja que me, y es muy comprensiva. Ella es realmente buena en la cocina. Da muy buenos consejos. Ella es bonita, y es significa todo para mí.

Mi hermano menor se llama Sean. El va a Yokohama International School también. Le gusta jugar videojuegos y fútbol. A veces es molesto, pero es muy lindo. Es un buen escuchador, aunque tiene diez años. Le gusta ver películas conmigo. Siempre me hace sonreír. Es más paciente que yo.

Uno de mis tíos es un director de cine. Escribe guiones de cine y es amiga de algunas celebridades coreanas. Él tiene dos hijas, mis primas. Uno de ellas tiene ocho años y uno de ellas es mi edad. Ella se llama Irene. Nosotros peleamos mucho cuando éramos jovenes. Ella ahora vive en Estados Unidos. Ella es más silenciosa que yo. Hablamos en inglés.

Todos mis tíos son distintos entre si. Uno de ellos le gusta deportes, uno de ellos le gusta juegos, y uno de ellos le gusta comer. Me gusta pasar tiempo con ellos porque son tan diferentes.

Mis abuelos son fascinantes. Las historias dicen son absolutamente increíbles escuchar. Nunca me dejan pasar hambre.

Mi familia es increíble. Aunque nos peleamos de vez en cuando, sé que siempre están ahí para mí.

Count Paris! The Man of Wax Spills Some Facts

Count Paris! 

The Man of Wax Spills Some Facts 

Screenshot 2016-04-25 09.28.01Count Paris looks smashing in his Marc Jacobs suit and Louis Vuitton tie.         
“BuzzFeed.” BuzzFeed. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.


The man of wax, Count Paris! Is there more to him than his charming good looks and seemingly stellar life? This month, we caught up with the celebrated and acclaimed kinsman to Prince Escalus. From what he looks for in women and rumors regarding his bride-to-be’s infidelity, the sensational young man dishes some serious dirt. 

Q: What do you look for in a girl? 

A: Well, they’ve got to be exceptionally beautiful, I must say. Sparkling eyes and fair skin, exquisite and coy. What is a girl without beauty? (laughs) Someone all the men in Verona would be envious of me for being with. Vulnerable and delicate, someone that I can protect.

Q: And Juliet has those qualities?

A: Ah, Juliet. So alluring, her beauty takes my breath away. It would make both our families happy if we got married. She perplexes me at times, but her beauty overrides everything else.

Q: Why do you think you should be the one to marry Juliet?

A: Why shouldn’t I be the man to marry Juliet? I’ve got it all: the money, the power, and the looks. Any woman in Verona would be overjoyed if I even considered them worthy of being my wife. Her father has already granted me permission. It’ll happen whether she likes it or not, but she’ll be on her knees begging me to marry her if I choose not to. (chuckles)

Q: Rumor has it that Juliet is actually married to another guy, a certain Romeo Montague?

A: Romeo Montague? Who’s that? Wait… a Montague? That’s ridiculous! Are people really that naive? Juliet being married to the son of her family’s enemy… There is absolutely no way.

Q: Do you believe in one true love?

A: Do I believe in what? (guffaws) Do you know how many women there are in the world, or do they not teach you that in gossip school? Every girl that is lucky enough to be loved by me
will believe that I’m their one true love.Screenshot 2016-04-25 09.30.48

Q: You’re a very popular guy. What’s your trick? How do you get all these girls to fawn
over you?

A: Just tell them my name, and flash them a  smile. “Hello, I’m Count Paris.” Gets them everytime.

Q: You have a very positive reputation, but recent articles on other magazines have criticized you for your so-called “arrogance”. What do you have to say about that?

A: What are they talking about? I always state the truth. I don’t let the articles and other people’s criticism get to me. Nobody deserves that, especially not me.

Q: Alright.. Let’s break it down. Whose side are you on, the Capulets or the Montagues?

A: The Capulets. They are my wife-to-be’s family, after all. What do you expect? Also, this silly rumor about Romeo Montague being married to Juliet is making me detest the Montagues even more every minute.

Q: You seem like you have a life any man in Verona would die for.. Do you have any problems or difficulties at all?

A: Well, all these admirers, it’s hard to deal with so many girls chasing after me. Sometimes I just want my privacy, you know.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

A: Ideally, I would like to grow even richer, with Juliet by my side. We’ll have the most beautiful children, who’ll grow up to be as great as me. I’d also like to be the most influential man in Verona, and have everyone look up to me. Sounds like a pretty great future, doesn’t it?

Mi Comida Favorita

Como tres comidas al día. Son el desayuno, el almuerzo, y la cena. Pero, también como un montón de aperitivos durante todo el día, entre comidas. Como desayuno tan pronto como me despierto. Me gusta comer panqueques con un montón de jarabe para el desayuno. No me gusta el yogur o jugo de naranja. La mayoría del tiempo, yo como el pan y leche. También, me gusta comer frutas, porque son muy ricas y nutritivas. Para el almuerzo, me gusta comer tacos o mac and cheese. La mayoría del tiempo, yo como comidas no nutritivas. Pero, para la cena, yo como comidas nutritivas. Me gusta comer pasta o lasaña, y bebo agua. Me gusta comer ensaladas también. Mi mamá prepara la comida. Para aperitivos, yo como galletas y otra comida basura.


Uno de mi comidas favoritas es queso. También me gusta mucho pepinillos en vinagre.


Me gustan mucho la comida mexicana, y churros españoles. Burritos y nachos son muy buenos. En España, churros son finos o largos y gruesos. Generalmente se comen para el desayuno con el chocolate caliente o café. Me gustan los churros finos la mejor. Generalmente como churros en Costco, pero no son churros típicamente españolas.




Burritos son tortillas de harina envueltas alrededor de carne y frijoles. En Estados Unidos, añaden más comida en la tortilla, como arroz, queso, guacamole, y lechuga. Me gusta probar diferentes tipos de burritos con mis amigos por diversión. ¡El guacamole más, mejor el burrito!




Nachos son totopos con queso. Son muy deliciosos. Me gusta comer nachos con mis amigos y ver películas, en lugar de palomitas de maíz. Son muy buenos con crema agria o guacamole, así.




Me encanta la comida de todo el mundo. Comer también nos permite comunicarnos con nuestra familia y amigos. Me encanta probar diferentes cocinas como visitar nuevos países.



“The World Leader in Spanish Translation and Conjugation” Spanish Dict. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.

Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.

Why They Didn’t Help

Matthew Carrington, a 21-year-old student from the California State University, Chico, died because of a hazing procedure in the basement of the fraternity “Chi Tau”‘s fraternity house in 2005. He was demanded to drink water and do calisthenics (push ups and sit ups) with fans blowing on him and with raw sewage leaked on the floor. Matt and the other pledge were interrogated and ridiculed for hours, being forced trivia quizzes. They were ordered to drink from a five-gallon jug of water, which was refilled over and over. Soon, Carrington started a seizure and passed out, and the fraternity members did not call an ambulance, thinking he was just sleeping. However, after about an hour, they realised that Carrington had stopped breathing. He was pronounced dead because of water intoxication, which caused swelling of his brain and heart failure. Members of the fraternity didn’t call for help for over an hour, and they pleaded guilty for involuntary manslaughter. (NPR)

The fraternity members could have saved a life that night if they had called the ambulance as soon as Matt had passed out. However, thinking they were just sleeping, they didn’t think much of it and did not take action. I believe that even though if one person had just called 911 Carrington would still be alive, I still understand why the members had not taken action. They had no way of knowing whether Carrington was sleeping or his lungs were slowly being filled with fluid, since none of them were experts in that area. There is also another reason why anyone else, including me, would have done the same thing. The reason is the bystander effect, when the more people that are surrounding you can stop you from making a decision on your own because of diffusion of responsibility. They were all telling each other that Matt was okay, and that would have stopped them as individuals from calling the ambulance. Instead, they would have just gone along without thinking it through.



“A Fraternity Hazing Gone Wrong.” NPR. NPR. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.

Una Amiga Nueva

Les presento a una amiga nueva. Se llama Claire. Ella es de Estados Unidos. Tiene 15 años. Su cumpleaños es el 24 de agosto. Después de las clases, le gusta dibujar y escuchar música. Le gusta comer pizza, pero no le gusta comer pimientos. Su número de teléfono es 000-111-222. Le gusta practicar básquetbol, alquilar un DVD, y pasear. Ella habla inglés y japonés. Su libro favorito es “Unwind”.


1st Semester Goals

My biggest goal this semester is to stop procrastinating. I always say I’m going to stop playing with devices and complete projects and homework, but I get distracted and return to my normal routine of scrolling through social media feeds and starting homework late at night. I need to put away any devices while doing homework in a separate room or throw them in the closet, and get to work as soon as I get home. I could also set up a time schedule. It might sound cliche, but it could help with my procrastinating a lot.

Secondly, I would like to improve on my math skills. I want to aim for a higher level of understanding. To do this, I could either join a study group, since I like working with other people, put in that extra hour for homework, do one more exercise, or ask my math teacher, Mr. Mejia, for help. I should not be afraid to ask people for help, because it will help me improve my math skills even further.

Last but not least, I would like to improve my vocabulary in order to write better essays. I love oral presentations and debating, but writing essays is not my favourite thing. To improve in writing essays, I could continue flipping through the SAT vocabulary book and memorise 5-10 words per day, reviewing as many times throughout the day as possible. I could read through the definitions, test myself, write down the words I don’t understand in a separate notebook and carry it around. By the end of the semester I would have a much wider spectrum of words to choose from.

First Week of High School

Starting over is refreshing, and starting a new school where no one knows who you are is even better. Starting a new school means I can meet new people, which means I can make new friends. It has been an amazing experience so far, considering the fact that I thought people would be less friendly and stick together in groups in high school, just like those teenage chick flicks. People are friendly and it is easy to find my way around the campus since they help in the best way they can. It has been a smooth transition academics-wise so far, and there’s a variety of amazing food in the cafeteria. However, there is no space in the cafeteria unless you run and grab a table, and even then people would be annoyed if I sat in a table they sat in for years with my friends. Also, it is difficult catching up to things everyone else has already learned in 8th grade, since I am a new student. There was not much homework, and classes, so far, seemed interesting. Teachers were humorous, and learning a new language is difficult but amazing. Unlike middle school, high school requires some thought on what I want to do with my future. It is really hard to grasp the whole idea of only having 4 years until I graduate and start college. It feels like the time I spent in school flew by. This first week in high school was generally a great week, and I hope the rest of my year will be satisfying as well.