‘Expanding my comfort zone during G8 Expedition’

During the expedition week in October, I faced a wide variety of challenges in an unfamiliar environment in Minkami, Gunma. This trip has undoubtedly expanded my comfort zone, as I experienced a range of activities, including canyoning, rafting, rock-climbing, geo-caching, mountain biking, as well as multiple team building activities. In this expedition, I got out of my comfort zone when I performed mountain biking, rock climbing, and canyoning.

Mountain biking got me out of my comfort zone, as I rode a bike with a different braking system as well as a different type of suspension system. In addition, I rode on steep courses in the mountains, as well as extreme hairpins, which was a new experience for me. Even though I had lots of fun and was able to manage the courses, the experience was challenging and indefinitely got me out of my comfort zone.



Unit 1 Spanish Reflection

In terms of reading, I think that I am capable of understanding words that are unfamiliar by using context clues in order to make sense of the word or expression. I think that I am able to understand basic sentence and paragraph structures which helps me to comprehend the text effectively. However, I still make mistakes and errors when I am answering the reading comprehension questions. Therefore, I think that I should make sure that I reread the text twice in order to minimalise my mistakes.

My Goal for Reading: Reread the text and read carefully not to miss out on any important details or facts.

I think that my writing skills have the most areas of improvement. I am able to write with some flow and accuracy, however, I am not that confident in terms of verb conjugation and the spelling of some words. In addition, I think that I should use more terms and expressions from the unit in order to apply my learning in a piece of writing and familiarize the verb. Thus, in order to decrease the number of errors in my writing, I will make sure to create flashcards on Quizlet and try to memorize as much terms and expressions from the unit vocabulary in order to be able to use it in my writing.
My Goal for Writing: Use Quizlet more often to memorize key terms and expressions from the unit, as well learn the correct spelling and conjugation of some words.

In the area of speaking, I think that I am making a consistent progress, which is allowing me to speak with accuracy and fluency. This allows me to hold a conversation with others and understand the context. I think that I can work on using more expressions and vocabulary from the unit (again) in order to really comprehend what I am learning and apply it to my speaking skills.
My Goal for Speaking: Use more vocabulary and expressions from the unit by using the terms on Quizlet (mentioned previously)

Lastly, in terms of listening, I am confident in my listening skills, however I make mistakes from time to time when I do not understand a word and therefore try to spell the word and spell it with an error or errors. IN order to improve on my listening skills, I will listen or watch some Spanish videos in order to get familiar with the accents and flow of the SPanish language.
My Goal for Listening: Watch/Listen to Spanish videos in order to familiarize the SPanish accents and different vocabularies.

Spanish Goals ’16~’17

I have multiple goals for the subject of Spanish this year. [SMART Goals]

  1. Firstly, I would like to practice my conjugations for (most) verbs ending in -AR, -IR, and -ER. I will achieve this by learning and practicing the conjugations of 2 new verbs every day of the week for a month. This will help me to learn approximately 60 new verb conjugations every month. Since I have a Spanish dictionary at home, I will use this as a resource to help me choose my verbs that I will be studying. At the end of each month, I will write some sentences using the conjugated form of the verbs that I have learned.
  2. Furthermore, I want to practice my reading skills which will undoubtedly expand my vocabulary and show me multiple sentence structures. I plan on reading short excerpts or texts in Spanish once a week. I will either borrow these books from the library, browse some from home, or even read online PDFs or texts. I will keep a list of the books/texts that I have read each month. (Like a reading log)
  3. Lastly, I will practice my oral skills, increase my vocabulary, and improve on sentence fluency by speaking in Spanish with my  friends or with my dad as he can speak Spanish fluently. Everyday I will have (or attempt) a conversation with my friends for 10 minutes. This will help me (and my friends) to share some vocabulary terms that we didn’t know and share new expressions.

Will humans be able to sustain lives on mars?

With planet Earth slowly disappearing, humans have come to the consensus that in order to maintain developing the human race, citizens of Earth will have to sustain lives on different planets. This idea has brought many scientists to investigate the different planets and their factors. Mars is included as one of these planets. However, on Mars, there are major factors that deny the possibility to maintain lives there. Lack of oxygen, food, sanitized water sources and sustainable soil conditions are the biggest issues of living on the planet Mars. Of course, there are solutions to these problems as well.

Humans will be able to sustain lives on Mars, as long as they have food and enough oxygen. These two issues will be eliminated if we, humans grow plants on Mars. “How are we going to grow plants with no oxygen and unsustainable soil conditions?” you say. Simple. I have come up with two solutions that will eliminate these worrying issues. To start off, both solutions will require a dome with a valid source of oxygen to create a friendly atmosphere for the plants to grow in. This is due to fact that the Martian atmosphere mainly consists of Carbon Dioxide (95%). Plants must undergo a process known as Photosynthesis, where plants consume the reactants light and chlorophyll, producing oxygen and glucose, allowing for animals to grow and a friendly environment for both plants and humans.

My first solution that I am promoting is the idea that humans bring valid soil sources to grow the plants that will help us to live. Since Martian soil is not eligible to grow any plants, if we, humans bring soil sources that are capable of growing plants, we will be able to live on Mars. These soil sources may consist of most materials, such as human waste and the soil from Earth (which contains organic matter and minerals). Along with the dome, humans will be able to grow plants with this option. However, as this may sound like a good idea, there is sadly a limited value of such materials. The earth has a limited amount of soil that will run out one day, and humans will not be able to produce enough waste to grow the plants. This makes it an environmental issue.

Again, bringing food from Earth to Mars is another possible solution. This way, humans will be able to live in an environment with less plants, as they only need plants for breathing purposes. However, this solution will not be the *ideal solution, as it will costs tons of money transporting a huge quantity of food to provide for over 7 billion citizens. Furthermore, like the previous idea, there are only limited amounts of food sources available on this market. Despite the fact that food can be genetically modified to produce larger quantities, I believe that GM (Genetic Modification) is ethically not the right choice.

Thus, I think that it is possible to live on the planet Mars by growing plants using sustainable soil sources rather than transporting plants. Humans will be able to survive and develop for longer periods of time using this method.


Coffey, Jerry. “ATMOSPHERE OF MARS.” Universe Today. Fraser Cain, 19 Dec. 2008. Web. 15 June 2016.

By Andre M. (7B science)

Drama Folktale: “THe Dreaming Tree”

“The Dreaming Tree” is a Brazilian folktale about bullying.

Major plot points:

  • There once was a boy called Uaica who loved and lived with his grandfather. He was teased and bullied at school.
  • Once day when he got teased a lot, he stumbled on a branch and entered the dreaming tree, an enormous tree where lots of animals were sleeping.
  • Uaica fell asleep, and there, Sinaa, the Jaguar Man who had healing powers and eyes on the back of his head told tales and shared his secrets.
  • For days Uaica came to this tree to learn a new secret, and his grandfather was starting to get worried, so Sinaa told Uaica to never return to this place, and if he did he might never leave again. Uaica took his advice deeply.
  • When Uaica told his gradnfather about this tree, his grandfather fell asleep at the tree, and told Uaica to never tell anyone of this tree because it could harm their enviornment
  • When people got sick in the village, Uaica used his powers that Sinaa had given him and healed the villagers.
  • Sinaa told Uaica that he had done a good job obeying his command and that he had shown generosity to all, even his enemies.
  • Sinaa told Uaica more secrets and Uaica learnt to make more things out of simple material.
  • ONe day an evil woman and some citizens decided to steal some of Uaica’s treasures to obtain some power. BUt Uaica had the power to sense thigns and see beyond the ordinary so he knew they were there.
  • Uaica got mad and vanished beneath a rock.


Moral: Be generous to all, even your enemies

FOlktale: http://www.uexpress.com/tell-me-a-story/2007/4/8/the-dreaming-tree-a-folktale-from

DIY Drama Reflection


In this project, I think that there were some factors that Theo and I performed very well and some that we could have improved on.

To start off, I think that we engaged with the audience effectively. We kept presenting and the audience was not bored or distracted. I was able to show case by case how I showed the method in an interesting, effective way. Our audience were people about are age, middle schoolers. I would make sure to not with hard terms, however casual, understandable words that would be effective when instructing. I personally think that there could have been some major improvements here, such as making the contents in advance so that it would not make the audience sleep, especially when it took time to mix some materials together.

Secondly, in terms of materials and resources, I think that we could have improved on some factors. Although we managed to lay out the materials in a neat, understandable way, we forgot to list all necessary materials at the start of our DIY. That made it hard for the audience to follow. The materials were also easy for us to use since we played them out so that we could just grab them without having to open things and look for things, we were able to create an organised workspace.

For the third factor, on how we presented the show and its content. I think that I presented the method to the audience in an effective way, especially the fact that I was constantly showing what I was doing, as the pot was deep and so the audience could not see what I was doing. In terms of content, I think that we had a simple method, although some parts could have been changed in terms of chronological sequence. Furthermore, I realised that we forgot to state our facts and trivia throughout the performance; however we used a couple of tips and hints. All in all, I think that this was a fun project and I really enjoyed this unit.

Another DIY TV show from my class that I enjoyed was the show that Koki and Senan made




Drâmå Spëëch Rêflèctión

In Drama, we have been learning about speeches and how to deliver them, how to speak with confidence, and the structure of a speech. I chose the topic of Aliens.

In our speech, we had to take into account 3 major elements: modulation (volume, pitch, pace, pause, projection, emphasis and inflection), physicality (posture, gesture, facial expression; use of palm card), and content (structure, information, relevance to topic, informative language and tone).

I think that I kept a steady pace throughout my speech, however, I think that I was speaking rapidly, because I was nervous, which caused me to stutter on my own words and cause a bit of confusion. Looking back, I used a range of pitch and volume. I used loud volumes when I wanted to emphasise certain points. In addition, I used inflection whenever I asked questions. However, I think that I could have exaggerated on my inflection to really hook the audience’s attention a bit more. In terms of pauses, I think that I could have created longer pauses. I was very nervous, and did not want to create any awkward pauses. But doing this was in fact, meant to be a good thing. That was one of my lessons learnt.

In terms of my phsicality, I think that I kept a straight posture throughout my entire speech, with frequent steps to cover the stage space effectively. Moreover, the use of my facial expressions could have again, been more exaggerated to create bigger effects. I used gestures to some extenet, however some of them were very big, while others were very small. I’m assuming that using smaller gestures would have been better, as the audience may concentrate on my gestures instead of my actual speech if the gestures are too big and distracting. Finally, I regret not using more palm cards. Since I had many points, I had used both sides of each palm card. This confused me on the stage, and it led to me completely forgetting to announce a whole section of my points. I should use more palm cards next time.

Finally, I think that I perfored well in this area, as I spent some time researching on this topic and watching documentaries and videos (not to mention that I got completely scared when I watched these videos at night) In terms of structure, I think that I used a logical order and pattern: defintion, examples, and quotations/evidence. However, I completely forgot that my speech was meant to be an informative one, therefore, I had lots of opinions in it, which must’ve seriously affected my grades. I’ll make sure I read the TSCs more clearly before I start each assignment next time.

Overall, I think that my speech was well-delivered, except I could improve on some major factors such as the use of my palm cards and reading the TSC more clearly.

I think that Risa’s speech was well-delivered, such as the use of eye contact with the audience: she really looks around the audience to grasp their attention. Furtheromre, Risa recovered well after she dropped her palm cards, which I think was very smooth, and her use of pictures was a really creative and smart idea. I should’ve done taht too :O