Nature Essay #1

In class we were instructed to write an essay analyzing a chapter or one of Emerson’s ideas from the text Nature.

I improved my writing skills, I tried to connect my quotes in differently. So this essay was a different experience.

I focused on my work the whole time. I wasn’t goofing around and what I wrote is what I can do, I put everything into it. I also spent some time at home.

My current score should be a 8/10, I feel like I’ve explained my ideas thoroughly, but I have some touch ups to do, like doing a better job organizing. Also, my friends said that I should shorten my essay, and let the readers do more “assuming”.The truth is, I don’t know what to take off. I know that it isn’t good, but I don’t know what I have to improve.


The Domino Effect

Ok, so did you ever make a tiny mistake and then, have your whole world end? Well okay, maybe, the world didn’t end but still you ended up wasting a ton of time and tears.

So, in class, I had to calculate the base price of Domino’s pizza and the price per topping cost based off of random prices. It all started great, but later, while checking my work, I found out that I made a mistake. Both equations didn’t agree with each other.

When I went back to check my work, I found out that I made an mechanical mistake, I wrote that 2+3=6. Its funny how one number makes a huge mess. It is almost like the Domino effect. I wasn’t paying attention, and therefore had to redo the whole system of equations problem.

Mistakes help me learn and grow. Next time, I’ll be paying more attention to what I’m doing and not risk redoing it.

School For Wisdom Response

I am new HTH student, actually I’ve only been here for about a month. I grew up in a normal Middle and Elementry school so I’m confused when I found out I got into High Tech High. The truth is I was confused until we had a Socratic Seminar discussing the pros and cons of project-based learning. When I read David Brook’s opinion column about High Tech High, I was sacred because I thought, I wasn’t going to end up as smart as some of my friends going to a traditional High School. I was scared and confused. Then, during the Socratic Seminar, I realized that High Tech High’s motive are completely different.

In a traditional school, they strive to teach students everything, especially the talented ones. At High Tech High, it is more than just learning everything, it is about enjoying what you learn. They believe that learning is not a “hard” task that students should despise. At High Tech High, you have a class for every subject, but not all of them are rigorous. Kids choose what they want to do. If they have a passion for math, their math teacher will find activities, completions and events related to participate in. Not every kid is forced to do these extra activities, but they are encouraged. In the end, the passionate High Tech High student will end up succeeding in Math. While traditional schools mass produce all-rounded, depressed kids, High Tech High produces happy, understanding, kids who end up mastering topics that they care about.

People in the comments area all talked about how rules should be learned before they are broken. Well, not everything in life have rules. There are many instances where you are forced to come up with new strategies by researching old ones. At High Tech, teachers focus on the process of making new rules instead of memorizing old ones.

Some teachers claim that homework is a necessary part of school. At High tech, you are not assigned “official homework” but there is a ton that students could get done. There is space for so much. At a traditional school, students are given homework and they do it. At High Tech High school, there is no homework but there is this “unofficial” work that could be done. It models the real world, adults aren’t forced to do work at home, but if they do, they will succeed.

&: It’s a Big Deal

So, I opened up my coding book, excited and ready to learn some important coding keywords and commands.

I just learned about using the command scan f(), a command that asks the user to enter a number and store it as a variable in its memory. I was skimming the book, and it was my second time coding, so I was still trying to figure how scan f() and printf(). I made a program to calculate the weight of ice-cream. The user inputs the weight of their ice-cream and then the program is supposed to give the price. On my first go, nothing happened! The error screen popped out, saying that something was missing at the end of line one. I went through it and added semicolons. I learned that semicolons are mandatory at the end of each line of code.

The program still didn’t work. After much sadness, screaming and frustration, my dad walks over and says, “First lower-case all the letters. Don’t use capital letters.” He then walks away and continues doing his work.

Trail 2, I’m excited to watch the program to work, but it didn’t! The program crashed at the last line! I was so disappointed and upset. I look at my code again, and I realized that the quotes were all in the wrong place. I look through the book and fix my quotations in the printf(), only the printed part, so not the part that recalls the value of a variable.

After much frustration, I learned that when printing a number in the printf() command, you don’t add an ampersand, you just list/state the variable. The ampersand is the sign that commands the computer to “store” the value as a variable or letter. In the printf() keyword, you aren’t storing a variable, you are recalling a variable. I learned many little things about programming that day that I’m not going to forget. Those set of frustrating mistakes have taught me by testing my patience. The mistakes taught me many little, but big aspects about programming like the quotes and the differences between printf() and scanf(). Mistakes help me learn and grow.

Progress in Emerson Essay

“ In the woods, we return to reason and faith…all mean egotism vanishes.” If humans were to find their natural self, the one that understands Justice, Truth, Love and Freedom, humans wouldn’t have to worry about the problems, the world faces today. By accepting that we are a part of nature, humans can put aside their differences, cherish what they have and can do and continue to excel.”

This time, my class has been asked to write an essay explaining a chapter or one of Emerson’s beliefs. I decided to focus and explain the separation from Nature Aspect.

I improved my writing skills, I tried to connect my quotes in differently. So this essay was a different experience.

I focused on my work the whole time. I wasn’t goofing around and what I wrote is what I can do, I put everything into it.

My current score should be a 10/10, I feel like I’ve explained my ideas thoroughly, but I have some touch ups to do, like doing a better job organizing. Also, my friends said that I should shorten my essay, and let the readers do more “assuming”

The Print Command That Doesn’t Print

The challenge for Chapter 8 in my coding book was to find a way to print a percent sign in Chide, a programming interpreter.

First, I just typed in a percent sign because I was curious to know why it didn’t work. Then I typed in a number next to the percent sign, convinced that it would work this time, but it didn’t. Then, I added words next to it. I just couldn’t wrap my head around why the percent sign won’t print. Little did I know that the answer to that is as simple as printing two signs.

Later, I found out that the computer thinks that a percent sign correlates to a number. When you print two percent signs, the computer understands that you are trying to print the symbol and not a number.

Simple Mistakes Simply Cost Too Much Time

We all make mistakes. It is part of being human. Sometimes, mistakes help us discover something new or just plain annoy us. The mistake of the week this week was, forgetting to square a variable. Squaring a variable may seem simple and harmless enough but when that variable is substituted in by a ton of other variables. These other variables are substituted by other variables. It gets messy. After a ton of hard work of simplifying and trying to solve the equation of the Long Now Project, it is a let down to know that you solved it wrong. I would’ve been extremely happy if it was a process mistake that I could just change and continue. It was terrible because I had to solve the equation a ton of times. When I finally got it correct, I celebrated for the rest of the day. I learned an important lesson while solving the Long Now Equation, don’t give up and make sure that the beginning is correct.

Graphic Art Number 3

The Heavens change every moment and reflect their gloom or glory in the world below…”( Ralph Waldo Emerson)

In my humanities class we were asked to create three different graphic art pieces that went along with Emerson’s nature and one of the songs we listened to. In order to achieve this task, I used Photoshop and my creativity.

In the process of finishing this project, I learned many skills. This was my second  picture on Photoshop so I had a pretty good idea about the different controls and editing options. This time, I learned about the different color-editing options and masks. This picture only took me about thirty minutes to put together.

In class we are reading Emerson’s text. Emerson goes to great lengths to explain the corruption in society and the purity of Nature that humans take for granted. We had to choose an interesting quote from Emerson and turn it into a graphic art piece. Emerson talks about seeing everything instead of relying on other people for information. Therefore we used pictures as the main vehicle to convey our message.

The main image is a beautiful mountain with many pretty plants. I decided to make it a bit gloomy because, it goes along with the quote. It shows how Earth could look pretty or gloomy and suspicious.

I did this project by myself. I asked my friends and Mike for critique.

For this project I would give it 10/10 because, I love the way it looks and I am proud of my work. I am really impressed with I did.

Graphic Art Number 2

“The wind it was so insistent,

With tales of the stormy south” -Sting


In my humanities class we were asked to create three different graphic art pieces that went along with Emerson’s nature and one of the songs we listened to. In order to achieve this task, I used Photoshop and our creativity.

In the process of finishing this project, I learned many skills. This was my first time using Photoshop so there was a ton of experimenting. My partner happened to hate technology so I ended up making the pictures on Photoshop. During to the process of making this image, there were many difficulties with lessons to be learned. My partner created an image on a piece of paper. I loved that idea and I started imagining the background colors and such. We started the project with a ton of enthusiasm but as soon as our first draft started taking shape, my partner didn’t like it. She claimed that it looked like cheesy photoshoped image. It was hard but I had to let go of our first draft. I am usually a control freak and I am used to having everything happen my way. This time, I wanted to achieve the goal and build a stronger bond with my friend. She had a different plan and I thought, why not put faith, in another person for a change?

I then decided to change my project and start a different one. For the new graphic picture, we started out with a picture of a tree and a compass. First we decided to erase the white background from the compass. Then, I accidentally ended up pressing the paintbrush button and ended up with a discovery. I could paint the background to give it a stormy look! That incident gave me an insight of the potential of layers.

When I went back to my piece, I decided to try and erase the building and the cars in the background and give it a forest look. Using the eraser and the healing brush, I managed to pull off a forest look.

The three texts that the project was based off of were, “Nature” “I was brought to my senses” and “Natural Beauty. All these texts talk about how humans should preserve nature because we are missing out on its wonderful gifts. The quote that I chose, relates to Emerson’s “Nature” he talks about how the eyes is the greatest artist. He then talks about men meditating in nature and how the world reflects his thoughts.

At the beginning of the song, Sting establishes a strange, mysterious and sad mood. His lyrics describe nature as a dark, cold “stormy” place, like his “tragic” life. All of sudden, the music changes and the mood lightens up. The light, cheery music and the bright descriptions of the world led me to think that his life took a positive turn.

By this point you are all probably dying to know what fabulous role I played. Well, I was the tech-nerd that was responsible for the shading, colors and editing. By the end of this project, I glimpsed the potential Photoshop holds. I not only figured out how to display the pictures, I also ended up teaching my partner a few neat tricks.

For this project, I would give it 9.5/10. It is a decent picture but I feel like it is missing something. In my opinion, it is good but not quite perfect.

Graphic Art of Nature

At High Tech High, we were asked to make an image using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop that contained our favorite quote from Neil Young. This was done in groups of two or three people. Then we had to present it to the class and explain our reason for choosing this quote, how it relates to Emerson and the picture. For this assignment, we needed Adobe Illustrator, images, and our creative ideas.

As for skills, there were many new things that I had to learn. That was my first time with Illustrator and only my second day of school at HTH. To start with, I was in a group with two peers that I haven’t met yet. So I had to step out of my comfort zone and talk. Besides that, I had to experiment with all the different controls in Adobe Illustrator. I had to persevere through a test of patience and determination.

There were many struggles. I couldn’t get the paintbrush to work, so I used lines to construct the tree. In the future, I hope to use Photo shop or watch extra tutorials so that I can better construct my tree. At the end, I fell in love with my tree. The quote talks about how everything will have its “moment” where it will shine. The tree, by itself, without the background layer look crude, but with the sunset picture, it looks amazing.

After reading these two paragraphs, you must all be wondering, wait are you in art class or humanities. In humanities, instead of learning dry facts, we learn ideas and thoughts of people. In this piece of art, I learned how to use a program to express ideas (marketing) and critical thinking. In songs, there are many allegories and analogies. We had to analyze Neil Young’s song and find a connection to Emerson’s text about beauty. Emerson summarized beauty to be a combination of three principles, natural beauty, intellect and good character. He then talks about how the eye is the best artist and how a corpse has its own beauty. The tree looks primitive when it stands by itself but with the sunset, it is a spectacle. He claims that when a person is given context, he or she will become a spectacle. Neil Young is also describing beauty. My whole team fell in love with the way these two quotes could be arranged and we therefore chose this combination.

In this project, I feel like I did my part. We split this project up equally. We all found quotes, talked about our favorite structures, offered and voted on ideas. We were all active members and I feel like I did my share. Although I “just” made the tree, I contributed ideas and made “compromises.” As for score, I understand that the picture isn’t over-the-top but I feel like I should get credit for working, and learning. My score for graphics is an 8/10 and effort/learning is a 10/10. Therefore, I believe that I should get an 9/10 overall.