Yaki-Fest

This last Friday I stayed after school for the weekly Japanese Club. Every other week the club would have a day where they cooked different Japanese meals. This week the theme was yaki which means fried (as in teriyaki). First off we made takoyaki which means fried octopus. They are actually small fried flour balls with octopus, tenkasu (tempura bits), pickled ginger, and green onions in it. These were made in a large pan with 16 spherical indentations on it. The batter was 14 - 1 (4)just flour and water. First Orr-sensei (the Japanese teacher) poured the batter into each hole. Next she put all the ingredients on the top of the batter and waited a couple of minutes. After some time waiting she flipped each of them over and waited some more. She repeated that process a few more times until the balls started to get crunchy. We then unloaded all of them onto a plate and began the next batch. We put takoyaki sauce (which is similar to soy sauce) and mayonnaise on top and ate 14 - 1 (2)them. The next dish was yakisoba, which means fried soba noodles. Soba is a thin noodle originating from China. This dish included soba noodles, beef, tako (octopus), cabbage, and some other vegetables I don’t quite remember. I missed the first batch as it was gone in a few minutes, but the second round I got some and man it was excellent. But we were not done! The final dish we made was yakiudon which is essentially yakisoba with Japanese udon noodles instead of soba. The 14 - 1 (1)udon noodles are thick wheat flour noodles as opposed to the thin soba noodles. Personally I liked yakiudon better because the noodles were just amazing. After we had finished off the yakiudon and yakisoba. There were still more hot takoyaki coming of the pan. There was so much at the end, all four of the remaining kids (including me) could take home a cup full of them. What we did while all of the food was being prepared and fried was mainly just talk about things. We talked about our classes, projects, teachers, and how I regret not taking Japanese in seventh grade… :( The last 15-20 minutes of the day we were cleaning up. I really enjoyed the experience (and food :D ) and will most definitely come next week when we will be doing karate!

Extended Learning Opportunity

kk-original-glazed-dozen (1)Due to the long periods of time we got off from school from an “Icepocalypse”, we AP Government and Politics students got an opportunity to come in during Saturday to learn more stuff! Our first ELO (Extended Learning Opportunity), which was today, was also the day of a fundraiser for kid’s cancer research. When I arrived at the scene their were people running around in circles, a man with a speakerphone shouting incomprehensible words, and no way to reach the front entrance without walking through a mob. As any intelligent person would, my mom brought the car around to the side entrance were the buses usually dropped students off and let me out. I saw one of my friends, also there for the ELO, and walk up to see “what was up”. As he got out of his ride there, he took out a bag with three white, thin boxes in it. He was looking out for our class and had brought doughnuts! He also said that the utility closet was openspy-sneaking on the side of the building and we could “sneak” in through there, to the gym, past the front office, and on our way to the classroom were the class was occurring. It felt like we were doing something a little bit illegal… but of course we weren’t. The gym we walked through was almost pitch black with light only creeping in from the closet we came from and the doorway we were headed. Once we reached the 8th grade hallway we bee-lined to the closest of the classes which we had our AP class. No one was inside so I thought we might have been the first ones as we were only five minutes late and it was Saturday, for the record. He started unpacking and setting up the tables and asked if I could checked the other class down the hall just in case. I went down a little ways and heard one of my teachers say “credit” fairly loud, as she does have, one might say, a “piercing” voice. I quickly ran back and got Jake, my friend I had came in the building with, and we walked into the other classroom which was almost completely filled with my peers. We were not the first ones. We came in and when everyone saw what Jake had with him, they gasped. We sat down and began doing corrections on the previous tests we had taken in that class. Jake passed out doughnuts for everyone, the two teachers included. I later went back for a second… and a third. The whole experience was pretty laid back and sort-of fun. I even found an “error” on my test and got and extra point back. That “error” was actually a bit of a confusion were I had circled the correctbananas1 answer yet I wrote the wrong answer on the line, but she said she was in a good mood and I had come on Saturday, to school. A little bit later into the operation, some students arrived with a box of bananas, apparently from the fundraiser. We finished up corrections of the test, then we started corrections on yet another test. Once all that was done we had a break were we went outside and ran around a little. Once we got back inside we went to one of the computer labs and started an activity which I found a little too much pleasure in. This activity was too become a United States Federal Senator or Representative and try to get a law passed that one of our constituents had written in about. I did a couple runs for fun but then started a slightly more serious one. On this one, Connor Kreitz, Representative of the 30th Californian Congressional District (Malibu…), was trying to pass a law improving the quality of small communities. At first I tried adding things that fit my personal views such as setting up projects to beautify the communities and set up parks but many people, mainly from the Republican Party, who were against “wasteful” spending disapproved. I tried to add things they wanted such as ways for the community members to vote on what projects they want. Eventually, I got my bill passed the House and eventually even passed the Senate, although they took off many good aspects of the bill. In the end the President even signed “The Small Community Improvement Act”. What it did was provide funding for Policemen and Firefighters to protect the community, fund grants for towns to builds various community projects, and set up a voting system in select communities for the citizens to vote on what projects need implementation. Here is a link to the “game” if you want to try it out. LawCraft We Green Treefrog (Hyla cinerea)036headed back to the classroom and learned more about the bill to law process, this time more focused on Georgia. We watched this REALLY cheesy video about the fourth grade girl who got a law passed making the Green Tree Frog Georgia’s State Amphibian. That was the last thing we did. Following that we went outside and most students’ parents were already waiting there for them. I said I would call when we were done so I did. A few minutes later I was in the car and on my way home. I found the whole Extended Learning Opportunity very fun and educational. I won’t hesitate to go to the next one.

Another year older… And better

March 9th this year was my 13th birthday. I went through the usual birthday routine of seeing a movie, going out to eat, and have a birthday cake. The day was a lot of fun and I’ll recap it below.

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The first thing we did that day was go and see The Lego Movie. It was a really funny movie (even for the adults), and had lots of hidden puns in it. The movie was about an evil CEO named Mr. Business that threatened to glue legos together with something called the Kraygle, and the only thing that could stop it was something called the piece of resistance. It is a really good movie and if you haven’t seen it yet I recommend you do.

taco

After the movie, we went out to eat at P.F. Chang’s. It is one of my favorite restaurants. The lettuce wraps are my favorite thing to eat there because they are so tasty. They are basically a piece of lettuce filled with little bits of meat with a very tasty sauce on it. The lettuce wraps are only an appetizer though. For my entree, I got a plate of sesame chicken with peppers and brown rice. It was very good. And finally for my dessert, (since it was my birthday) I got a slice of red velvet cake (which is my favorite type of cake).

lettuce

After we got home, I relaxed for a while. Then some time later, we got out the awesome red velvet cake that my mom made. Personally, I liked my mom’s cake better than the one at P.F. Chang’s because it tasted more chocolatey like a red velvet cake should.

Me and my cake.

Then, we opened the presents I got from my cousins and grandparents. I got two really cool t-shirts from my cousins. One of them had a picture of a surgeon working on a rocket, and the other had a picture of a scene from the book Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy where a whale falling towards the Earth gained consciousness and the only thing that went through his head was “I wonder if it will be friends with me.” I also got some money from my grandparents which I am going to use to get something for my birthday, but I need to think it through because I am really bad at making decisions.

The next day when I went downstairs, I found out the the remaining cake had slid off and I looked a lot like a cake monster. I really enjoyed this birthday and hope my next will be even more fun!

Letter of Isolationism

If you explore US foreign policy during the “roaring twenties” you will find that there were two camps of people with two very different political standings. One camp wanted to end all ties with other countries and become isolationist. The other wanted to stay in the other countries and be an Imperialistic nation. For AP United States History I wrote two “newspaper articles” with conflicting viewpoints on the matter.

Isolationist Perspective:

More and more Americans are pushing for an isolationist foreign policy in American government. Many say that the undesirable qualities of the political situations in the last twenty years are reason enough to pull out of world affairs. “How can we be fixing other nation’s problems,” says Robert Dale, age 31, “if we can’t even deal with our own.” Dale and other Americans are referencing the issues in civil rights that are popping up around the nation. The Ku Klux Klan is gaining popularity and blacks are struggling to be heard. New isolationist policies recommended by US senators would put the focus back on our own country, says House Representative George Huddleston. “The whole point of the isolationist movement is to fix our own problems. We have enough of those in America. Why should we worry about the Pacific Islands or Europe? We don’t want to spread our resources too thin.” This sentiment seems very common among the young and middle aged citizens, but less popular among those who still hold that the United States should adhere to the strict Imperialistic views that it had held on to for the past few decades. It yet remains to be seen whether or not a system based on isolationism will actually help the United States regain its place at the head of the world’s table.

 Imperialist Perspective:

Recently we in the Washington Chronicle have had a chance to interview state senator Hubbard McNaney on the issues of isolationism in the United States. McNaney is a strong supporter of American Imperialism. We pick his brain for opinions on how the US should deal with foreign affairs.

Washington Chronicle: We here at the Washington Chronicle don’t want to pick a side for the sake of remaining objective, but we understand the arguments both for and against American Imperialism. Why do you think it is so Important for the United States to be out there?

McNaney: The United States is in a great power player on the world stage right now. We have the ability to make great change in the world right now, so why would you not want to go out there and spread freedom and democracy among those less fortunate?

Washington Chronicle: But surely other countries can do that themselves? Why is it necessary for the United States to go in and give them democracy?

McNaney: Other nations simply don’t have the capabilities that we do. It is our responsibility to use our power, willingness, and intelligence to help out the people of the third world.

Washington Chronicle: So, you believe in a sort of responsibility that we have because of our position and disposition?

McNaney: Exactly.

There you have it folks. You should make your own decision on whether or not Imperialism is good for the US, but at least now you have one position on the debate.

Ien taal is noait genôch.

r6FxTQyi (1)As you can probably tell, the title of this article is not English. English doesn’t contain words with double a’s such as “taal” often nor accents like in “genôch”. But if it’s not English, what is it? If you are an English speaker and you hear “Myn hovercraft sit fol mei iel.” you may understand it. The language is Frysk or West Frisian and it is the closest modern language relative of English. The title by the way means “One language is never enough.” “Myn hovercraft sit fol mei iel.” means “My hovercraft is full of eels”. Both languages originated from the same parent language. The Anglo-Saxon invaders who brought English to the southern English coast spoke something very similar to400px-West_Germanic_languages_(simplified) Frysk. Those who did not leave stayed in the northern part of modern Holland, Fryslân, and developed the language it is today. The Fryske people, for the most part, are very patriotic and are proud of their unique heritage. I find this language extremely fascinating. Now that all the background is done, I want to talk about why I am interested in this language. First off it’s unique. With only around 470,000 native speakers (Esperanto has close to 2,000,000 speakers, albeit only 1,000 are natives to the language), it is quite uncommon to know someone who knows it. Yes this might not be the most practical language to know but since it is very close to English and especially Old English, it would be great for understanding where Germanic_languages_in_Europecertain words originated from as well as learning how people in those times spoke. This fascination is only expanded by my love for dark age history, specifically in England. The second reason is that it would be very impressive to understand this language and because the language is so close to a root of English and Modern German, it would be much easier to learn other languages. As I am very interested in learning new languages, I have a couple I wish to learn. I love the sound and history of all the German-based languages such as German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Frysk, and many more. Not only am I fascinated by German-based languages but also Far-Eastern languages such as Japanese and Mandarin. It is very difficult learning a new language but I still hope I can achieve it. :D

Dear Mr. Holmes

As we are getting further and further into the book, The Hound of the Baskervilles, in my LA class, we are getting more mini projects about the book. The mini project I wrote below was in the prompt of a letter. I was suppose to take the role of John Waston and write to Sherlock Holmes about what he had observed in Devonshire so far. Enjoy!

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Baskerville Hall, 12 October, 1889

Dear Mr. Holmes,

Since I have been here things have been getting stranger and stranger. It would be a lot easier with you here, but until you’re free from London, I will keep you up to date with what is happening in Devonshire.

I have been lucky enough to survey the endless moor and meet some of Sir Henry’s interesting neighbors. I was walking  down the road when I heard someone call my name. I turned around and saw a man holding a bug net. He said his name was Jack Stapleton, which I guessed by the net. He told me that he was the naturalist on the moor and wanted to show me something.

After some walking, Stapleton pointed out something called the Grimpen Mire. At first sight it just looked like a great field for a gallop but when a pony walked into the Mire that thought vanished. I saw the pony getting sucked into the moor with no escape possible. It was a sight for sore eyes. Stapleton then explained that the Grimpen Mire was a huge marsh where if you took one wrong step you were never going to get out. After he told me that, we heard the most spine-chilling sound ever. I asked Stapleton and he explained to me that everyone in Devonshire thought it was the howl of the profound Hound of the Baskervilles, but he assured me that it was the sound of a rare endangered bird being born. I for one was not sure what to believe.

Soon after that, he got distracted by a butterfly that flew by, and he set off in a chase. While I was watching Stapleton , a woman came up to me who I believed to be Stapleton’s sister, Beryl. I was about to greet her in the most humble way when I was shocked when the first thing that came out of her mouth was to leave and never come back. I was about the ask her what she meant when she hushed me and told me not to mention any of this to her brother. I thought this was very suspicious and even more thoughts of something going on flew through my head when I leaned Beryl thought I was Sir Henry. I am very uneasy about these two and will keep an eye on them in the future.

Your Friend,                                                                                                                                       John Watson

Final Draft

The research project that I have been working on for Latin class is now finally finished. It was an interesting endeavor and I would probably do another one if I had the chance to. This is a streamlined version of my rough draft and is the final product of the project. I’d put it in a book with short summaries on historical figures.

Gaius Mucius was a young aristocrat living in Rome during the siege by the same Etruscans. “This story seems to be later used by the Romans when Scaevola was said to have disguised himself and crept into the camp of Lars Porsenna… (Beckett 90)” He was on a self-inspired mission sanctioned by the Roman Senate to assassinate the king of the Etruscans, Porsenna. “… the Roman’s hope was dimming when Gaius Mucius, a young Roman aristocrat, presented himself to the Senate with a plan to assassinate Porsenna. The Senate consented. (Zoch 43)” He snuck into the camp. Unfortunately for him, it was the soldiers’ pay day, and both the king and his secretary were out in front, dressed in the same attire. Mucius did not know which was the king and unluckily stabbed the advisor instead. After having been questioned by the king, Mucius proudly explained his intentions and held his hand in a nearby fire to show his apathy towards pain. “…in which Mucius… showed his immunity to pain by holding his right hand over a sacrificial fire, and the astonished king let him go free. (Sachs 67)” He reportedly said, “… I’ll tell you this: we, three hundred noble youth of Rome, have sworn an oath to take this same path against you. (Zoch 44)”.

Mucius Scaevola was the influencing figure for the character Lucas Skywalker in Star Wars. Scaevola burns his right hand off in an encounter and in the Star Wars series Darth Vader cuts Skywalker’s right hand off with his lightsaber. It can be inferred that George Lucas intended this allusion because Skywalker is homophonic to Scaevola. It is reasonable to conjecture that Lucas had a reason for adding Scaevola to his story for more than mere laughs.

“The etruscan soothsayers cause to be erected in the same place the statue of Horatius Cocles. (Pais 18)” This quote proves that Cocles was undoubtedly a famous figure in Roman culture, yet his name has been lost to the ages. Cocles’ father was a man that fought for his country. He got the name Cocles from the fact that he lost one of his eyes in battle, thus gaining the name Cocles from Cyclops. “…and as Horatius Cocles was descended from that Horatius who was victorious in the great battle between the Horatii and Curiatii it may be naturally presumed that he emulated the fame of his illustrious ancestor. (Colburn’s 33)” He rushed to the bridge of the Pons Sublicius as the Roman army was retreating and restricted the Etruscans from crossing by standing the width with two other roman officers. “…Cocles had the help of Spurius Lartius and Titus Herminius for a while. (Beckett 90)” Even after the officers fled, Cocles remained. “When the javelins stuck in Horatius’ raised shield, he no less stubbornly controlled the bridge with his formidable presence… (Zoch 42, quoting Livy)” After the Romans successfully retreated, Cocles swam the width of the Tiber river while muttering prayers under his breath, ensuring his safety in getting to the other side.

“The story of Publius Horatius Cocles is dramatically related in the immensely popular Lays of Ancient Rome by Thomas Babington Macaulay, published in 1842. (Beckett 90)” Cocles must have inspired many soldiers with the tales of his bravery. The last stand that Cocles performed has become a common theme of bravery in the modern opinion of war. “In this dreadful emergency, despair yielded to hope, when Horatius Cocles volunteered to sacrifice himself, if needs be, in defence of his country. (Colburn’s 33)” Horatius Cocles was simply a famed hero of one of the battles between the Etruscans and the Romans. “To him all honour was due, and to him all honour was rendered. Public support was decreed him. and his statue was erected in the temple of Vulcan. And was his name forgotten in after years? never, never! (Colburn’s 34)” There are some speculations as to whether Cocles actually existed or not, as one historian said, “We shall thus (I think) reach the conclusion that the statue in the area of Vulcan supposed to represent the lame Codes, rather than being the statue of a legendary hero, was that of Vulcan himself. (Pais 158)”

It is undoubtedly true however that even if both Cocles or Scaevola never existed, their impact on modern culture is too great to ignore.

La Ciudad de Alburtís

In the past two week and a half in my Spanish class we had been working on a project where we could choose which way we wanted to show our understanding for what we had learned. My friend and I choose to do a brochure for a city oriented towards a tourist. I am really happy of how it turned out and we had completed all the requirements so we should have gotten 100%, sadly we got a 90% for “grammar errors” but I really don’t see any… Anyways, here it is! (I added the English-Translated text and some pictures  to take in the full experience. :D ) (Translation is from Google Translate.) (Click images to enlarge, that’s the final note… ;) )

CameraZOOM-20140304185357679There Exiting Bus Station to reach the Hotel Real in the Bus Station. Then you have to drive in to the corner of Grand Central Square and Avenue Jewelry Quality. Turn left there. Drive a little further and turn right. In many hotel rooms, buy it and sleep. Then wake up because you have things to do and the owner says you need to leave. To get to the SantiagoCameraZOOM-20140304185410720 stationery from the Royal Hotel, you have to drive out of the building and turn right. Drive to the end of the table and turn right again. Enter the store to the left. On the stationery of Hotel Real Santiago purchase paper and use it. After buying the paper, write a novel and salt to the coffee. To reach the Café Barbieri Stationery from CameraZOOM-20140304185429291Santiago, you have managed in Acacia Avenue off immediately. Turn right at the corner of Calle Fernando and Acacia Avenue. Continued on the street, next turn right. Drive to Grand Avenue for a short time then turn left. The Café Barbieri is on the front if you turn left. Phew! Although the city is very small, is very complicated. But you need to know one more location. The Cafe Barbieri takes a drink and Bebelo. Then get out the building. To get to the Butcher Shop Café MatthewCameraZOOM-20140304185450506 Barbieri, no handling in Daniel Way and turn left on Grand Avenue. Drive down the street to the butcher. Fold in the building. Matthew is the best card in the area! The city is very funny. The Butcher gets the cards and eats it. I say the story is very small and boring but my friend Connor says the story is very interesting. What do you say? Fernando Alburté ago the city in the year 1785. The city has many activities. I say this roller coaster the best activity in the city because it is so fun and excited. My friend Connor says his favorite activity this lake because nothing in the water. He thinks the lake is rather quiet. What do you say? What is your favorite activity? The city of Alburtis has the roller coasters, lakes and the sea.

 

Latin Presentation

I have been doing research on certain Roman historical figures for some time now in Latin class, and for the next assignment I was required to make a PowerPoint detailing their lives and impacts.

Marzipan und Andere Mandel Süßigkeiten

Niederegger_Marzipan_097305050212__02497_zoomSince the early 10th Century, almonds ground up and mixed together with sugar has been a delicacy throughout the Mediterranean. The origin of this special treat has sparked numerous disputes. One prevailing theory is that Marzipan, almond “dough”, first originated in China and was carried to the Middle-east, specifically around Persia, to then move to Europe through Al-Andalus, southern Spain. In China there is a traditional pastry called the Sweetheart Cake or Wife Cake that contains almond paste. In Persia, in the early 900′s, Muhammad ibn Zakariya Razi wrote about the medicinal qualities of almond paste. Marzipan was mentioned in The One Thousand and One Nights as a food eaten during Ramadan. The Germans formed bread loaf shapes with Marzipan and the 3084323708_0348331b7aSpanish made little animals out of the magical almond paste. The word Marzipan, like it’s origin, has many theory of where it came. One is that the word came from the Arabic word mawthaban or “king who sits still”. Another is that it is from the Latin word matapanus, “small box”.  As you can see Marzipan has had quite a history from the Far East to120107 Marzipan Fruit Western Europe, and there a good reason for that… (yum…) Marzipan has gathered quite a large fan base, an example of this is the Szabo Marcipan Museum in Budapest, Hungary. The founder of the museum was Szabo Karoly who brought his talent to Lebanon and back creating a company and cafe. Marzipan is great, it’s soft, sweet, and nutty all at the same time. It perfect on  cake for decoration (and flavor). It is excellent with a chocolate cover and one of my favorite is Ritter Sport. I even made Marzipan one time (gasp!) and it didn’t turn out too bad. All it required was blended blanched almonds, egg whites, powdered 383571-5827-31sugar, and almond extract if you wanted. The first batch I made was too sweet but eventually I got the proportions just right. Some batches later when I ran out of already blanched almonds, I looked up how to blanch them myself. And they’re very easy all you must do is put them in boiling water for a minute and dry them off. Them you can just squeeze them and the almond literally jumps right out of it’s skin! You have to be careful or they will fly across the room. To make a long story short, I love Marzipan very much and I am going to go eat some right now… ;)