How Does Memory Work?

Definitions for Words I didn’t know

Neurons – A cell that sends out nerve impulses to parts of the body.

Synapses – A place where two nerve cells connect where impulses produced by a neurotransmitter pass by.

Neurotransmitter – A substance in the human body which carries impulses across synapses.

Ethernet – A system used to connect a number of computer systems to create a local  network

Cognitive – Being, relating to or involving conscious intellectual activity such as thinking or reasoning.

Summary of “How Does Memory Work”

The strength of the communication between neurons determine how a memory is formed. Neurons communicate with each other through synapses when they receive certain stimulation from the same neurotransmitters many times. Science Daily compares this to “plugging your laptop into an Ethernet cable — the strength of the network determines how the event is translated into your brain”. The repeated strengthening of the connections between neurons is called long-term potentiation (LTP). When the LTP is maintained a memory can be formed. LTP can alter strength between brain cell connections. LTP happens when cells continue to talk to each without stimulation from neurotransmitters. The ability to remember certain memories depends on the strength of the LTP. Some memories are more vivid and remembered than others because the LTP is stronger, the synapses you contact them through perform at a higher rate. The more the synapses in your brain are used, the stronger they get. Cognitive loss happens when the strong LTP is lost; when the synapses are not being used as often. Science Daily compares this to how when muscles are not being used they lose their strength and how when the brain is not being used it will also weaken.

Grade 9 Niigata Expeditions Reflection

 

My group setting up tents

My group setting up tents

This year, for Grade 9 Expeditions we went to Niigata. In this trip our main event was hiking, but we also learned

 

many wilderness skills such as setting up tents, cooking for food and many others. In this trip the main themes that we focused on improving were self – reliance, leadership, resilience and responsibility.

For lunch when we were hiking, we all had to bring different pieces of food that make up our lunch. For example, one person held the bread, another held the ham, and another held oranges. I had the role of holding bagels and mustard. I think this was a really important example of responsibility and self-reliance. This is because we if one of us forgot a part of the lunch, we wouldn’t be able to eat which was huge on out responsibility, and we had to be reliant on ourselves to bring the weight up the mountain.

Although I didn’t take many roles of leadership myself, I saw many great examples of leadership throughout the trip. For each hiking group we had a person with the role of a navigator, in my group our navigator took a wrong turn leading us to have to go back the way we came and to go the right way instead, resulting in more time and energy taken for the entire group. Seeing it made me learn many things. The most important was that being a leader is stressful because you have the pressure  and responsibility of the whole group on you.

Lastly for 4 days we went hiking. When hiking at first I felt very tired, as if I would fall over at any minute. However I felt bad to complain about it to anyone and so I just continued on up the mountain, staring at my feet in fatigue. However after around an hour I strangely didn’t feel tired anymore, just light-headed and numb all over. After finishing the 5-hour hike each day, I wondered how this was. It even made me want to push myself more in real life because this hike taught me that at first, things are painful and hard, but after a while you get used to it, numb and it doesn’t bother you as much anymore. On one of the days of hiking it was raining and the trek was very steep and slippery causing me to fall and slip into the mud many times. Although it was difficult and I had to take risks by climbing up paths I would usually avoid and push myself to go on which helped me improve my resilience.

Hiking in Steep Mountains

Hiking in Steep Mountains

This year’s expedition I found was very different to last years expedition to Minakami. Last year we weren’t very independent. However I feel as if this year’s trip was all about independence.  Our themes – resilience, self-reliance, leadership, responsibility are all things that you do independently. You may think that leadership is not, but leadership is actually one of the most independent skills because you have to be the one controlling the people, not be one of the people. Overall this was a trip that strengthened many skills of mine and taught me many lessons that could be used in real life.

Nature vs. Nuture

Nature is genetic inheritance, things you were born with. Most physical characteristics are nature based; color of hair, color of eyes, specific diseases etc. However, these physical characteristics can be influenced by nurture as well. Nurture is things that you learned or grew to do or become as you lived, affected by the environment around you. For example, a chance of a disease can be affected by your genes, but also of your day to day choices as well.

A study by Cambridge – ‘Nature vs Nurture’ shows that when children of different genders are brought to adults, the adults often automatically suggest the use of the toy that fits the child’s gender. This  means that from a young age, people are always being suggested doing things that are socially thought to be for their gender. This means when they grow up they can end up in a certain way, have many stereotypical traits of their gender. This shows that nurture highly influences the gender behavioural stereotypes. However, the study also tried bringing toys of the different genders to monkeys as well to see if nature influences gender behaviour as well. The female monkeys went to grab the feminine toys and the same for the opposite gender. Hereby nature influences gender behaviour as well.

In conclusion, there is no correct answer to say if behaviour is affected more by nature or nurture, all situations and traits of behaviour are affected by both your genes and the world around you.

Drama Comedy Reflection

This unit in Drama, we have been working on Comedy. We practiced many different forms of comedy, mostly physical and researched on comedy through out time. Lastly for the final project we made a character and a comedy routine that included all the things we learned in the unit.

I think the biggest influence on the development of my character was Philipe. He taught me many different ways to exaggerate my character, which I think really helped for the development. He taught me many new ways to show how a character was introverted, which I didn’t know at all before. For example closed posture while walking and looking down at the floor instead of straight forward. I found it really helpful when trying to include my own personality into my character as well because it made the character easier to act out.

My group got a lot of feedback from Rene about our comedy routine. He taught us how the ending of a comedy routine can be one of the most important things, and without a good ending the routine can often end up as a disappointment. He gave our group many creative ideas that really made our routine a bit more interesting. At first we had a pretty believable story but he helped us change our story so it was very exaggerated and made each of our characters personalities show up more.

This comedy unit was actually pretty interesting, I enjoyed learning about comedy through out time the most. I never really thought about comedy much before this unit and found out that it actually has a lot of history. Rene and Philipe were also very helpful, it showed us how much a real comedian can actually do and they both gave us really good advice to help us improve and develop our characters and comedy routine.

Preperation for Hedwings Theme

This unit in Music we have been studying soundtracks. We studied many different soundtracks and found how each had a different feel to them to fit different themes in the movies they were used in. For the Spring concert we have decided to learn and perform Hedwings Theme from the movie Harry Potter.

To learn Hedwings Theme, first I listened to the original to get to see what kind of feel it had to it, how it was supposed to fit in with the movie. After listening few times I thought it was quite soft and gave a bit of a mysterious feel. This helped me know how to play it while performing; to play a bit softly and mysteriously. I practiced by first playing the chords many times to get my hands to learn them so I could play it more smoothly. After learning my part so it was pretty smooth I found a friend who was playing the melody and tried to play the chords along with them so they go along. I did this to try to feel more comfortable when playing with others.

However I still have trouble playing in time when with the group, I tend to lose track where I am and mistake the rhythm. I feel like to improve not losing my place in rhythm when playing with the whole group, first I need to improve my rhythm. To do this when practicing on the piano alone, I could use a metronome to make sure my playing is on rhythm. After doing this a few times, I could turn of the metronome and try to count the beats myself, so that my mind can remember the rhythm exactly. Another thing I could do to improve is practice playing with another student. By playing with them, it would help me get the feel of playing with another person and make sure my rhythm is accurate.

I hope that by Spring Concert I will be able to play in tempo with the group and play softly.

English Unit 3 Reflections : Perspective and Prejudice

At the beginning of this unit I used to think knowing different points of perspective that will create a new perspective for ourselves. I thought every single person had to have their own separate perspective for theirselves. Now I think that knowing different perspectives helps us understand the topic we are thinking about better, and look at it from a bigger view. I learned that we don’t have to have a perspective, but to be able to understand other peoples perspectives is the important thing. People always try to push their perspectives onto other people, and even if we disagree it’s not right to do the same. We have to understand that some people will always keep their point of perspective, and the best we can do is help them learn and understand other’s perspectives as well, to maybe make them just a little more open-minded.

Unit 4 Spanish Reflection

I think this unit taught me a lot abut grammar in Spanish. I learned how to use commands properly, the difference between the affirmative and negative commands and direct and indirect object pronouns. I think the most helpful activity we did that helped me to learn commands much better was the poster project where we had to include 5 affirmative and 5 negative commands. It really helped to give out work, get feedback and than get another chance to do it because it helped me learn much better this way, giving me to understand the concept fully. Comprehension was also a very good activity for me, I am quite bad at comprehending in Spanish so by doing many of these comprehension activities I think it helped me get a little bit better. However, I had difficulty remembering the new vocabulary as I was focussing mainly on grammar. I think for the next unit, I should spread my learning in a more balanced way instead of just focusing on a small portion of the topic, even though it is quite difficult.

Comedy Timeline

Ancient Greek Comics

Face Masks used in Greek Comedy

Face Masks used in Greek Comedies

Greek Comedy was one of the dramatic forms in the theatre of classical Greece (other being tragedy and satyr). Greek comedy was very popular and performed across ancient Greece from around the 6th century BCE. The most famous playwrights were Aristophanes and Menander. Their works give an indirect but important insight into Greek society at the time. The performers were all male professional dancers, actors and singers and would dress in outlandish costumes and highly decorated face masks to represent human and inhuman characters. Often each performer had to take on multiple roles due to the restricted number of actors in that time period. A average greek comedy play would follow a conventional structure. The first part was the ‘parados’, where the Chorus of as many as 24 performers entered and performed a number of songs and dances. The second part was the ‘agon’, often a witty verbal contest or debate between principal actors with plot elements and fast paced scenes. The third part was the ‘parabasis’ where the Chorus spoke directly to the audience. It ended with the ‘exodus’ where the Chorus gave the last song and dance routine.

Jester

Jester

Medieval Comics

During the Medieval era almost every nobel employed a jester (also referred to as a clown, buffoon or or a fool) for the entertainment. The jesters of royal courts were considered very powerful, and had a huge influence over medieval society. They were often considered to ease down tensions of a king or noble, to bring a smile on their face whenever they were ill, tensed, angered of worried. Jesters often performed at celebrations and palace parties. They also used to depict the plays and and dramas written by the famous writers of the time. Jesters dressed in a certain way to help make their masters laugh. They had shaved heads, coats with mixed bright colors, tight breeches and a ‘fool’s hat’. The fool’s hat was considered to most distinctive attire of a jester, it consisted of three points with a jingle attached to each end. To make their master laugh they often mocked and criticised other members of the court which was allowed, if were to be done in a jesting manner.

Renaissance Comics

Commedia dell’arte

Commedia dell’arte

At the end of the 15th century a new type of play appeared called ‘Interludes’. They were short plays performed at noble households and courts including much comedy. In England in the 16th century, interlude comedy blended in with Latin classic comedy producing Elizabeth comedy. Shakespeare and Ben Jonson were the biggest comedy playwrights at the time. While Shakespeare wrote tragicomedy and romantic comedy plays which brought massive audiences to theatre, Jonson wrote caustic, rich satire comedy. Another type of comedy during this time was Commedia dell’arte, which originated in Italy. Commedia dell’arte comedy was consisted of a cast with colorful stock characters and improvised dialogue. Performances were based on a basic plot, often a familiar story in which the actors improvised their dialogue.

Melodrama

Melodrama

Melodramatic Comics

Melodrama was a style of drama during the 18th and 19th centuries. This type of drama was very dramatic and had exaggerated plots and stereotyped characters in order to appeal to the emotions. The protagonists may be ordinary people caught in extraordinary solutions, or highly exaggerated and unrealistic characters. Melodrama has 6 characters called the stock characters; the hero, villain, heroine, sidekick, servant and and parent. Melodrama was known to have key constitutive factors; pathos, heightened emotion, moral polarisation (good vs. bad), non-classical narrative structure and emphasis on action and thrills. Orchestral music and songs were used to accompany the action. Melodrama is still widely popular in the modern world, particularly in Asia and Hispanic countries.

Circus Comics

A clown

A clown

The circus is a company of performers which may include clowns, acrobats, trained animals, trapeze acts, musicians, tightrope walkers, jugglers and many others. The first circus was opened by Philip Astley in 1768 in England. The types of performances in circuses has changed since then, but circuses are still being widely performed in the world today. Clowns are one of the biggest parts of the circus. Clowns perform slapstick and other types of physical humor, often in a mime style. Some examples are getting pies in their face and squirted with water. Clowns dress many different ways to make the audience laugh but one of the most common looks is the ‘auguste’ or also known as the ‘red clown’ in which the clowns have colorful wigs, distinctive makeup, exaggerated footwear and colorful clothing.Clowns do not only appear in circuses but have also appeared in films, television, plays and opera.

Cinematic Comedy (silent films, movies, television, web)

Cinematic comedy are light hearted dramas made to amuse and entertain their

Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin

viewers. The situation, language, characters and action are often exaggerated, and usually have happy endings. Cinematic comedy can be used in films, movies and television. It is considered one of the oldest film genres. Silent comedy, a silent film of comedy was very popular during the 1900s to the 1920s, as at the time there was no sound to films. Because of the lack of sound these films were very dependent on  visual and physical humor. For example ‘slapstick’; and exaggerated for a violence. It was used often because it needed no sound and relied mostly on the visuals. An example of a silent film with cinematic comedy is ‘The Tramp’, featuring one of the most memorable on-screen characters Charlie Chaplin at the time. The silent film was one of the most iconic films of that era. Cinematic comedy is still widely popular today.

Bibliography

Bellinger, Martha Fletcher. “The Commedia Dell’arte.” Theatre History. N.p., 1927. Web. 22 May 2016. <http://www.theatrehistory.com/italian/commedia_dell_arte_001.html>.

Cartwright, Mark. “Ancient_Greek_Comedy.” Ancient History Encyclopedia. VOX, 25 Mar. 2013. Web. 22 May 2016. <http://www.ancient.eu/Greek_Comedy/>.

Cash, Justin. “Melodrama.” Theatre Links. N.p., 2016. Web. 22 May 2016. <http://www.theatrelinks.com/melodrama/>.

“Comedy.” Infoplease. Sandbox Networks, n.d. Web. 22 May 2016. <http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/entertainment/comedy-evolution-comedy.html>.

Jando, Dominique. “SHORT HISTORY OF THE CIRCUS.” Circopedia. Mediawiki, 2008. Web. 22 May 2016. <http://www.circopedia.org/SHORT_HISTORY_OF_THE_CIRCUS>.

Jokinen, Anniina. “Renaissance English Drama: From Medieval to Renaissance.” Luraminarium. N.p., 2 Aug. 2006. Web. 22 May 2016. <http://www.luminarium.org/renlit/dramamedren.htm>.

Newman, Simon. “Jesters in the Middle Ages.” The Finer Times: War, Crime and History Resource. Copyscape, n.d. Web. 22 May 2016. <http://www.thefinertimes.com/Middle-Ages/jesters-in-the-middle-ages.html>.

Images
Greek Face Masks
Jester
Commedia Dell’arte
Melodrama
Clown
Charlie Chaplin

Drama Infomercial

I could improve on speaking with more enthusiasm, and animation. Also I have a bad habit  to want to change parts of speech a few moments before the actual performance. This is bad because all it does to is messes up my speech and makes it cluttered, I should learn to just stick to write I decided a few minutes ago. Also I need to improve when speaking as a group. I find it hard to synchronise with others.

I will have to do many public speaking activities in classes, for speeches and even presentations and such. Also if when I grow up I will have to do job interviews and the techniques I learn here about public speaking will help greatly.