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Blog Post 1: September 11 Shorts

This is a response to the last video with the death lady. In the class discussion, I noticed a lot of people got the impression that the end meant that you shouldn't leave the house mad at someone you love but I think the message of this film was much more deeper then that, but I'm not sure how. I like how we were able to feel what it was like to be in the shoes of the woman in the video since she was deaf and then how in the middle of the film, we were able to hear normally and then it went right back. I was confused on the part about the woman in the film talking about her hearing voices. It made me think that the guy in the film really was not returning home after he left for work. Either way, returning or not, I'm not really not sure how I would feel if he did return v.s if he did not come back alive. What stood out most to me was the audio and I think it was really creative how the director took advantage of that. I believe that the fact that she was deaf and a mute had a lot to do with the message of the film. I think it reflects on America in general. Overall, this film stood out the the most to me and it affected me the most. 
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9/11 Blog Post

Out of all the short films, the one that touched me the most was the last one we watched. When we watch movies we always expect or want music to explain to us the emotion for the scene we are watching. Another way to show the type of emotion is of course the tone of a characters voice. In this short film there was no audio to us at all except when the man was talking on the phone to one of his friends. This was just for us to look at the perspective of the woman since she is deaf. In the beginning was where she just moved to New York and the man was deaf tourist and that's how they met. Her laying on the piano showed how she can feel vibrations and can feel a little which came up again when she was typing her letter. She saw her coffee mug shaking, table moving and the dog barking. She knew something was going on but she just didn't know what it was. It made me anxious and frustrated when she kept walking to the television and almost saw what was going on but kept going back to the computer to finish writing her letter. Finally at the end of the letter she wrote basically should she leave and end the relationship or should she wait for a miracle, than he shows up at the door covered in dust and dirt. This element to me is surprising to me because in the beginning she tells him that she had a dream that a voice told her he wasn't coming back home. To me, if the fight had not have lasted the length that it did and he left earlier than he might actually be dead. Also it's like she saved her relationship thanks to this miracle but it's also a tragedy to everyone else in the city that lost loved ones. I kind of want to see how this scene would end if he left earlier or if she wasn't deaf. Would she look at the tv sooner and try to go after him. Overall the silent to the short scene just added more of an element of surprise that made me question other elements in the film.
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September 11- Response

 I think the video that made an impact on me the most was the 2nd video with the guy never got over the fact that his wife had passed. It started off with the dead flowers and to be honest I never understood that part and why the flowers were the subject at the moment. The part when when it went to the guy and he was talking to his "wife" and looking for a new outfit for "her" to wear was really confusing. I assumed that she died during the plane crash and that it was sort of like an anniversary type thing. 
Later, however, as the video progressed as the man was asleep, the twin towers were hit and as one began to fall the light began to come through the window into the appartment. That was the most powerful part of the video because it made me think like, imagine the people that were home close by as the towers collapsed and how the lighting and scenery changed. It made me think and left a big impression on me.  
Then when the flowers came back to life and the guy woke up to them excited. He seemed happy to me but I just thought it was strange. It wasn't til the end that I realized that it wasn't until the light came in that the guy woke up from his delusion that his wife was long gone. Pretty sad ending and again very powerful as the last tower fell and its shadow disappeared from the outside walls of the appartment.
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Enemy Of State Reflection


Enemy of State was a fast paced movie of intrigue showing just how much power the government has over each US citizens "Privacy". As well as how much power they have that unless dealt with on extreme conditions they strength cannot be met. I never realized how far technology had advanced into each persons personal privacy. From satellites from outer space that brought google earth into creation, can be used against the average joe. Lets not forget bugs as well as cameras that can be snuck into a persons home as surveillance. The government is portrayed in the film as people who want to accomplish or go through whatever means they have to in order to get what it is they want. and Killing someone or even ruining their lives seem to all be likely solutions to their problems or what is portrayed in the movie. Though it is a pretty biased stand point only showing the government as people from a bad perspective on interested in saving their own rear ends. Though i'm sure all of the technology that they have can be used for good as much as it was used for bad maybe even more. I believe that it is true that the government should be aware that there is a limit to how much information that they are allowed to access or use against someone. They shouldn't be able to view personal information on a daily basis in less there is a valid reason for invading someones privacy. As well as laws and consequences for abuse the right of citizens for their own selfish and or greedy reasons. They should also have professional documents in which would allow them the accesses of personal invasion of privacy. 



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9/11 Short Film Response

​The film that hit me the hardest was the one with the old guy in it. I loved the editing of the video and the different camera views of it. They used slow motion and music in the video very well. I thought the best part was at the end when the tower comes down and lets the light in and grows the flowers. It took me a little bit to figure out what was going on, but I realized after some time that the flowers were given life after so many people met with death. It was sad to see the reality of it all. I can take back that sometimes with death, comes life, and with life, comes death. They work hand in hand almost. I really think this video shows how these have a connection to each other. 
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Enemy of the State - JHinton

Being that this wasn't the first time I've seen this movie, I always feel that this is one of Tony Scott's best films. Anyways, when you watch a movie for enjoyment, it's totally different than watching, and trying to pick out specific things. It was weird watching it, after learning about the USA PATRIOT Act. To realize that all of the technical things are attainable now, is kind of crazy. And to think that there are people who have to listen in on the private things that people speak about, email, or text to others is kind of weird. It would be nice to speak to someone with this job, and see how it affects them as an individual.

In the movie, the government is portrayed as being SUPERIOR! Not that they aren't, but the government officials in the movie acted as if they were the only important things living. It was also kind of weird to see that the different government agencies didn't really work together. It was like they each had their own agendas to tend to. 

The citizens in the movie, were treated as though they weren't "human beings". Kind of like the government officials were the only people that should really have a say so in what takes place in the country. It was kind of like they let people believe they're living their own "private lives", while in reality, they're really being invaded by appointed government officials.

Honestly, if the government was spying on me, there isn't anything to do to prevent it. How does one go about telling someone higher up than me, that they can't dig into my personal life? I've known before that the government can monitor certain technical aspects of our lives, but now I'll definitely be a bit more cautious of things I send out now, just because I see the bigger picture of the whole thing. In a way, I'm not opposed to it, because it's supposed to be for "our own good", but I'm also not totally excited about it either. We're subject to these conditions, because of the world we live in. We'll just have to get over it. 

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Jess Jimnez - EotS

First of all, I thought the film was brilliant. It made me feel uneasy at first, realizing that all of this is actually possible in today's world. I also found it awesome that this is an actual job, it could be interesting getting all this information, but at the same time scary because you are breaching someone's privacy.

The way the government is portrayed in the film is as if agencies are kind of separated. Like it seemed that the FBI didn't care about going after NSA even if they were government officials. I found this interesting because it meant that while some people actually would interfere with another agency/branch if they were doing something wrong. In a way, similar to how the President can veto a bill if he/she thinks it's unjust. So maybe a system of checks and balances comes into play?

Would I allow the government to spy on me? Hell no. Can I stop them? I'm not sure how to do that. We can't get our own guys to sweep for bugs around our homes. We're all being watched some ways or another. But does it affect me personally? Nope. The NSA could be reading this right now. They could have like 10 agents on me RIGHT NOW. I may not be able to finish this because I might "know too much". I'm not okay with the government surveilling us, but I can't do anything to stop it. That's the point I'm making.

I guess in a way, we're all subject to what our governments do to us by wanting to live in this country.
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9/11 Short Film Response

I was most affected by the piece directed by Sean Penn. I immediately felt for the old man: he lived alone, he’s still desperately holding on to the memory of his wife, he never turns on the lights, etc. The filmmakers illustrated his day to day life perfectly, revisiting familiar shots and highlighting the mundane things that the man uses to occupy his time. As the film progressed, I felt more and more troubled by the way he seemed to actively resist moving on. The old man’s tragic state of mind was also evident in the way that the filmmakers edited the movie. There were several sequences in which the film cut quickly from one shot to another. During several of these quick shots, the man would appear desperate and anxious, but the film would quickly switch to another shot where he would continue to go about his day. It seemed as though he knew deep down that his wife was gone forever, but wasn’t ready to admit it to himself. 

The ending was especially touching. I appreciated that the film did not explicitly show that the Towers had collapsed, but instead implied it in an achingly bittersweet way. The shot of the flowers springing up in response to the sunlight was particularly effective. 

When the bombings occurred, I think that many people did not want to accept that something so horrible could have happened so close to them. Much like the death of a loved one, national tragedies happen quickly and it takes time to realize their full impact and begin to make a recovery. This segment was about loss, and the old man’s loss was no less tragic than the bombing of the World Trade Center.

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9/11 Short Film

The one that made me feel the most was the second film about the man who lost his wife. This particular one made me feel the most because the music that was playing seemed to be reelecting how he his feeling and what he was going through. Then he would talk out loud as if he was talking to someone and he didn't seem to be the happiest. Also, the affects they used during the film made it a lot more interesting. Then, as the buildings fell it let the sun hit his plants which was a reminder of his wife and when the buildings fell the sun brought life to the plants which seemed to bring life to his wife. Then once he woke up and saw the sun, and what it did to the plants he was overcome with emotion. The one thing that stuck with me and the most and made me very emotional was when he was on his knees holding the plants and said "you should've been here to see this." I feel as though that was a perfect way to end that film. 

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Blog Post 1: Enemy of the State

In the movie enemy of state the government plays a cynical and overly involved role in the citizens lives. They not only have access to peoples phone conversations but also have cameras and agents everywhere and ready to capture or eliminate anything they don't like. The citizens have no privacy because their phones are being tapped when they don't know it and if the government wanted to keep an eye on them, they could easily have agents watching the individuals every move and accessing their information while they might not even know it. In my opinion the government shouldn't have that much access into its citizens personal lives but at the same time, i can see why they would want to keep tabs on certain people and listen into peoples conversations sometimes as a national security precaution but at the same time, its really not their place i guess. If the government was run they way it is in the movie, i really wouldn't want to live in the united states because the movie makes it seem like no matter what you do, you aren't really free and the government will be watching your every move and could easily get rid of you and make it look like an accident. I think that if a person has a criminal record that is really bad or threatening or could pose as a threat to national security, some sort of tabs should be kept on them i guess but I don't know, some of the stuff in the movie seems like it would go against peoples rights and what not. 
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9/11 Short Film Response

Usually, abstract films (like Sean Penn's short) confuses me. Most of the time throughout the film, I was trying to piece together what I am seeing before my eyes. It didn't take until the end for me to figure out the details of the film. Even though I found the film interesting, I couldn't connect to it in any way since I didn't make said connection during the film. And of course, I don't really know what to say about the first film since I don't understand Italian. So that pretty much leaves the third and final film. 

The one thing that stood out to me before anything else about the film was: the intensity. The missing soundtrack and use of muffled silence almost put me over the edge. Here we see (hear) the world through a deaf/mute woman during the event of 9/11. Sure it's an interesting take on the way to tell the story of 9/11 differently, but it was more than that. To me, that (the whole film) symbolized the millions of stories that people across the world have to tell. Everyone went through something different; experienced unique happenings throughout the course of 9/11. That's why that film especially stood out to me. It wasn't just about her or his (the characters), it was about my story. My friend's story. My mom's story. My neighbor's story. My neighbor's friend's story. And his family's story and so on and so on. We all have something different and unique to bring tot he table, and the film was the medium in which people could voice their story, even without the actual use of sound. The film, to me, was all about the story of the people. 
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Enemy of the State

​The movie started off with enough action and thrill that it caught my attention. The film kind of scares me now because i don't know what could possible happen. The movie was actually made before 9/ll so that's what i think is really interesting, the bad guys birthday in the movie is also 9/11 which is creepy. That really makes me question everything now. Why that date? Was it just a coincidence? Was it on purpose? I personally knew that the government is capable of a lot of lying and i thought that politics was all just the center of a bunch of lies. But it can go deeper then that, extreme coverups to what could have happened on 9/11's attack. Is what we keep constantly being told the truth? When they center the covering up of  lies around the government they make it seem like it's something that should be relatable with our real government. In the movie will smiths character and his family undergo a sever under surveillance watch through fire detectors to clothing. Privacy of the citizens in the movie is something that's the least respected throughout the movie. I don't think that the government should be able to have that much power in being able to see our personal information. I still think that a individuals freedoms should be restricted for safety purposes but it shouldn't be taken as far as trying to get information from every person that they possible talk to.

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Dig Vid 9/11 Blog Post

Out of the three short films we watched today I think I took the most out of the second one. Being that it wasn't my first time watching it I understood a bit more of it. From the first time I was able to watch it my view of the message behind it has changed. I went from thinking his wife died on 9/11 when in reality the "light" that was brought upon him was thanks to 9/11 in some way. He was living a life of pure imagination and lies. He stilled liked to think that his wife was there by his side, growing old with him. I think that this is what attracts me more to the film. It takes something to deep and hurtful and turns it into something so interesting and shows it in a way where different people can take it in different ways. I took at as his light was his wife he loved her too much to even let her rest in complete peace because he himself didn't accept her death and her no longer being by his side. Which I take as him being selfish cause regardless she is now in a better place. I also really liked how there wast much eye contact with the camera. The old man was always focused on something more which to me made it a bit more touching, it made it more realistic. The end confused me for while until Mr.Herman told me why the flowers were blooming. The fact that they took the idea of something so tragic giving him this light after loosing someone he really loved intrigued me and till this day I wish I could meet the director to ask him why ? why take this approach to something so tragic and giving it a beautiful meaning, well at least to me. 
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Jess Jimnez - 9/11 Short Film Response

When I watched Sean Penn's video I've aready expected everything. After watching it two other times, it still remains one of my favorite short films. The way the man in the film lives on with his life even after his wife's death, tells quite a story. I still find it interesting that 9/11 was the date when he finally found out the reality about his life and if it never happened, he'd still be in denial. Also, the contrast between his public appearance, and his home appearance was interesting. In public, he was this old man who looked somewhat decent. You knew nothing about him, you'd think he was normal. But at home, he was this lunatic (to some), who couldn't move on from his spouse's death. Overall, I think Sean Penn did a very good job over all expressing indirect loss (loss that maybe wasn't from the towers collapsing), especially with this humble old man that just wanted to enjoy the rest of his life with his wife alive.

The french director's film was interesting as well. Maybe because I didn't feel like it was a 'silent' film, rather we were experiencing the story through the woman, who was both deaf and mute. We only heard what she could hear, and say what she would say. The few seconds of the phone call with the woman's partner helped foreshadow the events that were going to happen, and what possible outcomes could happen. The rest went on to being through the life of the deaf woman. Who was a unique way of telling a story.

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Back to School Nights - September 11th and 13th

To all SLA students and their families -- Back to School Nights are coming soon!

For Freshmen and Seniors, your night is Tuesday, September 11th from 6 - 8 P.M.

Freshmen will be having an advisory potluck in the school cafe, where they will be greeted by Mr. Lehmann, break bread with their new groups, and also have a chance to meet the freshmen teachers. Families are asked to contribute dishes to the evening by last name:

A-F - Appetizers + Snacks
G-S - Main Dishes
T-Z - Desserts + Beverages

Seniors will be having a College Information Night with Ms. Hirschfield, Mr. Lehmann, and their advisors in the Drama Studio. Crucial information and forms will be shared.

For Sophomores and Juniors, your night is Thursday, September 13 from 6 - 8 P.M.

Families will be greeted by Mr. Lehmann and will then have time in their advisories to learn about academics and visit classes online. This will include information about Moodle, Naviance, and other relevant programs. Families will also have time to visit subject teachers one-on-one.

For all grade levels -- students are strongly encouraged to attend with their families!
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Girls Volleyball Starts Summer Conditioning

SLA's Girls Volleyball Conditioning begins the week of August 27th from 10:00 am- 2:00 pm!

All interested girls MUST bring current physicals and knee pads.  We will meet at SLA and then walk to the field on Chestnut and 31 St.

Practices will take place on Tuesdays from 3:00-5:00 pm and Thursdays from 4:00 -5:00 pm at the field (on Chestnut and 31st) or Freire Charter School.  Questions should be addressed to Coach Hirschfield at khirschfield@scienceleadership.org or 917-797-9807.

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9th Grade Summer Reading Info

Dear Incoming Ninth Grader, 

Welcome to SLA! Before coming to school in September we'd like you to read one of three books:The House of the Scorpion (Nancy Farmer), The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins), or Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card). 

While you may get the book from the library, we strongly suggest that you purchase your choice text, as we will be using it in English classes in September.  Of course, feel free to read more than one title!  They are all so great!

Below are some questions to help you navigate your novel and help you prepare to discuss it with your classmates and teachers. As you may already know, SLA utilizes guiding questions that help focus our studies and make learning more meaningful for us all.

As you read, think about the following larger questions as they apply to the characters,action, conflicts, and resolutions in your choice text and also as they apply to your life. Part of active reading includes some writing. Prepare to hand in a journal consisting of at least eight entries, each one longer than a half page.  Before you write, consider the following questions to explore in your journal. Include your own personal responses to these questions, and how these questions might apply to your choice text. This will be collected in September.

  • What is family?
  • What is the power of friendship?
  • What does it mean to be a caregiver/mother/father?
  • What is education and where can it exist?
  • What is love?
  • How does a person become evil?
  • In what ways can the line between good and evil be blurred?
  • How do you justify the idea that a person can be both good and evil at the same time?
  • Who is a survivor? Why?
  • What does it mean to be human?
  • How can children create their own paths in a world run by the adults?

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SLA Students Transform TFI Recycling System

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After conducting a waste audit of the Franklin Institute in February, a group of 15 SLA freshmen presented their findings to both the Manager and the Director of Operations. When the students received the endorsement of Waste Management Corporation in March, and presented their recommendations at the NJ/PA Sustainability Symposium, the Museum staff agreed to make some changes. The students worked with Waste Management to secure new recycling bins, some of which are pictured above. On Thursday, the students chose strategic placements for the bins in order to maximize public compliance. On their behalf, Waste Management recommended to TFI management that a new system be used to differentiate trash from recycling in the Museum's processing facility. The student group will propose next steps to the entire Franklin Institute staff, including senior management, at a keynote in September. These steps may include an educational program, a PSA, and/or other ways to ensure that the Museum's roughly 1,000,000 annual visitors handle their waste responsibly.

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10% Project

For my 10% Project, I decided to film myself presenting three of my favorite animals at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. There I am an Explainer in Outside-In, the children's nature section of the museum. I am also known as the "Bug Lady" because I primarily handle things like cockroaches, isopods, scorpions, and my personal favorite the tarantulas. The video below features three animals, a rosy haired tarantula, giant cowbird, and Eurasian legless lizard.
10% Project
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President Barack Obama Speaks To The Class of 2012

President Barack Obama addressed the Science Leadership Academy Class of 2012 at The Franklin Institute today. In his remarks, President Obama challenged the graduates to change the world, stating, "There is somebody in this room who’s going to help make sure that we are defeating diseases like Alzheimer’s or cancer.  There is somebody in this room who is going to help revolutionize our agricultural sector, or our transportation sectors, or will invent some entire new industry that we don’t even know about yet." The faculty of SLA could not agree more! 


Thank you to President Barack Obama for an incredible gift that the graduates will take with them for the rest of their lives, and congratulations to the Class of 2012! 
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