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Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

Embarrassed, I am. This year was a flunk. Do I regret anything? Of course I do, but I'm not going to sit here and sob about it the last week of school. A repeated action of lying, bickering, and for what? To be sitting here in my loneliness of bad grades and avoided relationships. I haven't been a good sport, but I am only human.

One of my favorite quotes is, "Grades don't reflect intelligence, they reflect work ethic." A quote bringing a high self-esteem to a person who feels as though he doesn't have a meaning. A purpose. The honest truth is that I don't feel intelligent. I know I don't have a great work ethic, and my grades show that, but even if recognition for a completed assignment is given, it's not enough. There are still pieces of the puzzle missing.

Walking into Sophomore year was simple. Put a smile on, pay attention, do the work, get good grades. Simple.  Just like everything else. But, soon after I discovered how lenient I "thought" my teachers were, the slacking began. It's true when the students say, "You can't spell Slacker without SLA!" I was a slacker. Still am, at times. Considering the fact that I was so dedicated to passing and making an impression, it baffled me that my grades started to slip, and it confused me even more when I didn't care.

I generated creative ideas for each assignment that was given to me, I just never followed through. Week-after-week, month-after-month, it was nothing but disappointments. Ones from my teachers, ones from my parents, ones from myself. Tackling something that is outside of your box is more than changeling. It's mind-juggling. Every idea was extraordinary. Something that would give me a 20/20. I was excited. Filled with joy when that final thought was created. But, procrastination took over and molded me into something that I wasn't. I would say that Social Media is to blame, but actually, I am to blame. Everything is/was my decision. I decided to not turn in work; I decided to leave class for 30 minutes. No one is going to force me to do anything. It's my responsibility to make sure I am doing the best I can, and none of my capability and potential was shown through the half-ass effort.

This past school year has been an adventure. It wasn't a pleasant one, but I can't change the past and most certainly will not dwell in it. My journey has taught me the value things may have.  I envied people who were better at things than I was. I'm not skilled in math. I'm not skilled in Spanish, but that's okay. Piers of mine who received A's in classes, that I got a C in, were just trying to the best of their ability. I'm strong in many things that straight A students aren't, and thats valuable. I have to know that I'm not going to be Superman at everything, so I can't beat myself up over something that can't be altered. I may have messed up a few times, but I know how to fix the mistakes. Writing this short essay, made me realize the importance and significance of my talents and where they can lead me. I am an individual who sees things metaphorically and artistically. I can't compute variables in an equation and I can't translate a sentence only using a Spanish dictionary. From now on, I know to try my best and be the person I truly am, because it's the only thing that will be my aid in the following journeys.

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Quarter Four Artwork - Max Amar-Olkus

​This quarter I worked on my photography, mostly. I also worked on some mixed media pieces. For the most part I like to think my photography is greatly inspired by painting and is composed in a way that makes some of the shots seem very painterly. The one painting I made this quarter was based on a picture I took of my little brother. It is just a portrait shot but I converted it into a stencil and it is very mysterious.

"Portrait of Lucien" 
Fiber board, Spray Paint, Marker pen, Acrylic ink
Max Amar-Olkus

Here is the link to the photography I've done this quarter

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Oxygen Print

We asked questions about our element.

We had to research our element to find out cool information about it. My element was oxygen.

I help other people with their prints because I was more experienced.

We had to make this blog to present what we did.

This is the reflection
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​Inquiry "What is negative space?" is the first question Ms. Hull asked. We had to figure out through different methods the answer to that question. Research Through the different methods we learned the difference between negative space and positive space. I figured it out the most through the print. Collaboration I had to collaborate with many people to get some ideas of what to create for my print. It was a very hard decision my peers helped me through. Presentation The presentation wasn't very formal but throughout the process and going through it together my classmates and I saw what isbest for us and our ways.
The presentation wasn't very formal but throughout the process and going through it together my classmates and I saw what each other did and what they could do better and throughout the period of time working on the project we figured out best methods for everything. Reflection When I reflect on this I love it more and more and I never love my art sothroughout this I have learned that printmaking may be the way to go.
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Negative Space

Negative Space is basically the part that is not the object. If you outline the object and color it in the part that is not colored in is the negative space. In the cut out the negative space is the paper I did not quitThe drawings have negative space in the part not drawn on. To see negative space the artist can see what they need to take out or draw on.This technique helps most of the time because of the way your eye can pick up on the shapes found in the negative or positive space.

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Negative Space Three Sketches

A. What is negative space (explain this concept to a fourth grader that has never heard of it) Negative space is the space of a drawing where other things are not there. In other words, it is the space around and in between an object. 

 B. Explain how you found negative space in 1. your cut out?, 2. in your still life drawing? I found negative space by drawing the space that is not the object but the space that is around or intertwined with the object. 

C. Why does it help an artist to see in negative space? It helps an artist to see in negative space because it gives artists different perspectives on art and their drawings, therefore they can expand upon the depth of their drawings. 

D. Does seeing in negative space enhance drawings, why or why not? Seeing in negative space does enhance drawings because it helps artists see the difference of positive and negative space, as a result the artist can use both at will, enhancing their masterpieces. 

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Element Print

Inquiry: This project made us think about different ways to carve our block of linoleum. We all had to choose what we wanted are drawing to be on our block of linoleum.  

Research: For this project we had to research the element that we were given and find information that could be turned into a drawing. Furthermore we had to find the atomic number and the symbol for our element. 

Collaboration: Throughout this project we all talked about what we thought would be cool for our drawing for our print. We also talked about the different ways to print our drawings on the final piece of paper.     

Presentation: For this project we had to print our drawings on a final piece of paper. We also had to take a picture of our final print and had to make sure that the photo had the proper lighting.   

Reflection: At the end of the project I thought about what I could have done differently for this project. Furthermore I looked at my final product and made sure that it was the product that I wanted.       
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While I understood a few uses of chlorine, I was not clear on the widespread application of the element. It took some inquiry to push beyond the stereotypical clorox bottle, and discover uses of chlorine from public sanitation and the production of plastics to chemical warfare. Many of these were truly shocking.

Inquiry provides the drive for research. With my questions as to chlorine's real world applications in mind, I hit the web. My perusing led me from the CDC website to that of CNN, and allowed me to achieve a fuller understanding of chlorine's history. Fact: Chlorine bombs were used by insurgent forces against United States forces and Iraqis alike during the Iraq War. Fact: The german scientist who began using chlorine solutions to deodorize the hands of surgeons, had the wonderful name of Ignaz Semmelweis.

Most of the collaboration of this project was during the printing period, in spite of a few of my classmate's pestering. I was impressed by our efficient and coordinated cleaning routine afterwards.

I tried to incorporate the lettering and numbering of my design into the visual image, as opposed to having it overlayed, out of context. This method was hindered slightly by my issues representing differences in value and texture in the linoleum. 

While I don't see this piece as my best work, or even close to my best work, it provided an opportunity for some interesting reflection. The project allowed me an opportunity to consider the ways in which we can convey information visually, and how juxtaposition of different forms of communication (visual and written) can display more complete messages than these forms on their own. 
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Josh Berg Indium Print

I inquired about my element Indium. I had to figure out what exactly it was that I wanted to figure out about my element. 

I did a lot of research to figure out key things about my element. I had to find out something to highlight in my printed piece.

I collaborated with my peers to figure out the best ways to print. We collaborated on what color combinations looked appealing and which didn't. We also figured out the best ways to have the prints come out clearer. 

For presentation we all showed each other our prints and our carvings. We will eventually hang up our art in various placed.

I am reflecting right now on this moodle post. I am looking at what I liked that I did and what I did not like that I did or created. 
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Element Project

​In creating this project all five of SLA's core values.
The most important of these five is Inquiry, which was defiantly needed with this project. Since we where assigned the elements we did out projects on most of the students involved had no idea what their elements where, so we had to do extensive research on our elements in order to pick what image would be used in our print. This research consisted of, all the scientific facts associated with our elements, the people that discovered them, and interesting facts about them. 
Collaboration was used throughout the process of making the printing plates themselves. Each student had to etch their symbol/image into the linoleum provided to them, and this was an exceedingly difficult task and all the students in class helped each other in getting the hang of the cutting tools and the most effective methods of maneuvering the linoleum. 
When it comes to presentation every child in art class presented their best prints to the entire world. We did this by combing our technological knowledge with out art knowledge to post a blog post on the internet sharing our knowledge everywhere. 
The fifth and final core value, Reflection. This value was also reflected in the blog post you are reading now. Each one showing how each publisher feels about their project and what they learned through the project process.

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Manganese Print

​Inquiry: I wondered about what my element does in the world and how I can interpret that to make it into a print.

Research: I did online research to find answers to my inquiry.

Collaboration: My friends helped me by offering their opinions and I also worked with Ms. Hull to finalize this project.

Presentation: After printing the linoleum block I created 2 frames in order to decorate the school with them.

Reflection: I have created a blog post recalling what I did and how it relates to the core values.

Below is one framed print and one unframed. 
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Element Project

Inquiry: I used Inquiry while looking up things about my Element. Not just things about Lithium, but unknown things about lithium to get a good Idea for the print.

Research:I had to research a lot of information about Lithium, such as who founded it, to what it's used in.

Collaboration:I Collaborated with my friends and Ms.Hull on this project to ask if things could be improved of to ask if my print looked okay.

Presentation: I printed the Drawings I made of Lithium, and we're going to put the prints up in the hall way. I guess that's sort of like presenting.

Reflection: As I was making my print I realized things that I did wrong, and could Have done better on and I Improved them. 

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Negative Space Project

1. ​What is negative space? 

Negative Space is the space where there is no detail in a picture. 

3. Why does it help an artist to see in negative space?

Seeing Negative Space helps a artist see what people don't usually see.

4. Does negative space enhance your drawings?

Sometimes Negative space can enhance your drawings, when you have a drawing that is suppose to Impact people, Negative space is awesome. 

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Podcast Reflection

Although I have done interviews a few times before, this time it felt like something different because it was something that I could really connect with, especially because I was interviewing my own brother. I always knew that during interviews, you could find out things that you would not have known before but there was never a connection with any of the interviews I have done before. In sixth grade, I interviewed one of my teachers about him and his partner and I did not feel so interested because I could not connect with anything at all but when I interviewed my younger brother, it was different. Everything my brother said was connected to me in every way and sometimes when he spoke about something in general, there was this feeling that he was directing it at me. I learned that crossing boundaries do not have to be huge events but it can just be living life everyday just like my brother. He seemed to be so happy but inside he was feeling something different and if I had not done the interview, I would not have knew. Also, I learned that crossing boundaries can be something good but it can also be something bad. Since, I realized how my brother felt, I feel like I could use that to help show him that it’s not exactly like what he thinks. Like, when he said that he felt like a prisoner because he does so much work, I want he to look at it from a different perspective because we all do a lot of work. Not only did I learn more about my family, but I learned about making a podcast and it is something that I think will come in handle in the future. This was my first time making a podcast and it took so long because I did not know how to do it but if I was to do it again, I feel like I would be able to do it much better. 
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William Potts Capstone

For my capstone I wanted to do something that would have a lasting effect on the school.  I was thinking about giving something to the school as part of my project.  I started to think about my interests.  One of my biggest interests is botany.  I then decided I wanted to donate plants to enhance the decor of the school.  I began my research at the Horticultural Society Library where I learned about which plants grow best indoors.  I also learned about the effects plants have on work places - that they increase productivity and attendance.  As well, there is the benefit of the oxygen that plants provide.  My project then took me through the steps of purchasing, transporting and repotting the plants I chose for the area on the second floor outside the elevators (near the nurse's office).  One of the greatest experiences I had while repotting the plants was with all the people who were walking by at the time. Everyone was saying that it was really nice, and it looked great.  Other people stopped to asked me questions about my knowledge of plants and how to take care of their own plants.  And some people had advice for helping me.  My project will continue on after I leave SLA.  I have passed on the torch to the students in the lower grades who have volunteered to take on the responsibility of watering and caring for the plants.  I really enjoyed my project and I hope others will too for a long time to come.  Below are some pictures of the area where the plants have found a new home. 
Window Shot
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