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AJohnson Process Paper

                For my senior capstone, I conducted a research project on water hyacinth; an invasive plant species from the Amazon. Choosing this project came naturally to me. I knew that during college I would want to study environmental science or civil engineering. While at the Environmental Protection Agency, a coworker suggested I look into the plant species that habitat the Delaware River. After researching the Delaware and invasive plant species, I decided this would be the perfect project.

                My capstone addresses the SLA core values in many ways. For one, collaboration was a major, if not integral, portion of my capstone. It was often necessary to reach out to coworkers to give feedback on my proposal as well as research paper. I also had to gain the backing of a knowledgeable team. With a great team behind me, it was easy to move forward with conducting our research. Another very important piece of this project was research. Countless hours were spent understanding the water hyacinth plant, removal and disposal methods, and its anatomy. This information was vital to properly conducting the project. Understanding the growth pattern of water hyacinth along with the tidal patterns of the Delaware made conducting research easier. In terms of the value of presentation and reflection, a great deal of attention was paid to the detail within the research paper. After reading some other published research papers on water hyacinth and its applications, I made sure that my paper was read over by many pairs of eyes. This ensured the quality of the project was evident in its documentation.

                To complete this capstone, four steps were followed. Research, comprehension, application, reflection. These steps were used countless times during the process of my capstone. Research was used to layer the basic understanding of all elements incorporated into my capstone. From understanding scientific measurements of the biology of a river to using probes for water quality testing. This research was often revised and revisited. Comprehension played a key role in the project. After conducting all the necessary research, the team got together to ensure that all information was not only relevant, but that it could also help us to direct our study areas to those in which finding/identifying water hyacinth would be possible. This step was also used to devise the course maps for the project. Application was the manifestation of our research and planning. We took everything that we learned and went into the field to collect our data. Over the course of two days, the team managed to visit 6 different sites. Three sites were on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River while the other 3 were on the Pennsylvania side. These sites were chosen after careful deliberation with the project team. We ensured that all sites had a relative proximity as well as being easy to navigate to. Reflection was the final step in completing this capstone. Reflecting on the team’s work, it was evident that our research could have a long term impact in the quality of our river. After conducting the project, it was evident that we needed to reach out to other agencies to ensure that the right people were aware that water hyacinth may have spread to Pennsylvania as well as New Jersey.

                One major obstacle that presented the project team early on were the effects of the sequestration. Due to the sequestration, it was unclear at times whether or not the research project would be able to move forward. Another factor that affected the project was the equipment needed. The boat that was set to be used had not yet undergone its inspection and checklist. For this reason, the course map was redrawn to allow us to visit sites in which we knew water hyacinth could exist while having access to the shore. In the end, these two factors caused the project to be conducted from shore instead of using the boat. During the course of the project, there were often many a time in which other knowledge bases were needed. Often, I tapped in to my coworkers. They proved invaluable with a plethora of information about conducting research projects, writing a clear research paper, and quality assurance standards to use while conducting research.

                I am most proud of the experience given by this capstone. Most students in high school do not get to conduct their very own research project. Having the experience of conducting and leading a research team for a project was very exciting. It showed me a lot about collaboration as well as effective use and consolidation of resources. When we found that we could not use a specific program or tool, we quickly turned gear to find another way of doing things. This project has also taught me a lot about environmental science as a major. It gave me a deeper understanding to the things that environmental scientist and engineers do on a daily basis. If I could do this capstone over again, I would change the timespan of the project. Having the research conducted in two days was sufficient for the scale of this project however, with a greater timespan, we could most likely get more locations surveyed.

                My capstone has made SLA a better place because of the people that I have inspired. When underclassmen would ask me about my capstone, they were instantly intrigued that I got to lead and conduct a research project. This also allowed me to network people to bring about more resources and materials for science learning at SLA. 

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Element Project

​Inquiry: I used Inquiry to find some amazing facts about my element. Also to actually find my element. It helped me find my inspiration for what I wanted to do.

Research: I found amazing facts online. I also found the signature of Hans Christian Oersted who is a big factor in the founding of aluminum.

Collaboration: I collaborated with Lizzie to see if the signature would work well. Also she helped me draw the signature. 


Presentation: The colors of the print collaborate very well together. The brown from the background allows the colors to stand out even mor. I like the way it turned out.

Reflection: It turned out awesome for me but I wish I could of added more colors. I think I should of use contrasting colors.
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Process

            Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma (MTC) originates from mutations in calcitonin-producing parafollicular C cells of the thyroid, is a rare malignancy, accounting for 3-4% of all thyroid carcinomas. It occurs in a hereditary form (HMTC, 25%) or in a sporadic form (SMTC, 75%). The prognosis for patients with MTC is poor, as the tumor metastasizes at early stages; and the only curative therapeutic option so far is radical surgery. Genetic analysis helps identify inherited cases at a stage where prophylactic surgery can be offered to carriers of such mutations to prevent the disease. This approach may also be used to determine better treatment options for patients who are already diagnosed with MTC.

The goal of this project was to develop a comprehensive mutational panel for the detection of clinically relevant mutations in MTC samples. A total of 143 mutations (nucleic acid variations) in 8 human genes were selected from numerous papers and public databases and included into the MTC mutational panel. The selection criteria were based on the coding mutations (mutations that occur in the coding area of the genes) that were reported to occur in MTC patients and considered functionally relevant. Some of the mutations included into the MTC mutational panel (such as BRAF gene V600E mutation) were also described in other types of thyroid cancer, but most of the mutations were unique to MTC (such as all RET gene mutations). The entire assay design was carried out using Sequenom's online design tools (ProxSNP and PreXTEND (https://www.mysequenom.com/Tools) and Assay Design software (v. 3.1)).

The final file comprised from 115 assays corresponding to all 143 mutations included into the MTC panel. This file will be further processed using the SEQUENOM® Mass-ARRAY iPLEX® platform for DNA genotyping of clinical samples by the cancer research scientists at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania

            Save for Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma (ATC), MTC is the second most aggressive type of thyroid cancer. Hereditary mutations that could lead to HMTC need to be found as rapidly as possible, as the onset age is only 5. This Mutational Panel is one of the best ways to diagnose any type of MTC, be it hereditary or sporadic, and give a small beam of hope to the poor person diagnosed with the mutation.

            The decision to make this panel was a hard one, as at the time that I started it, I was going to take pre-calculus in Drexel University. It was an insane amount of work, but I managed to compile the list of mutations over the summer, and continue the analysis during autumn. The actually write-up was finished much later, when I decided that I could use that project as my capstone.

            Simply put, the project was not easy. It took me a long time to understand the basics, and even a longer time to be able to manipulate small details, but in the end, the project was amazing. I have to say, that out of all the work I did while I was in SLA, this capstone project is the one I am proud of the most!

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a very intriguing book. This book is a coming of age novel written in the form of letters. These letters are quite personal and create the illusion of "charlie", the narrators/ main character's allias, telling the reader his entire high school life. The picture I made is representational to the life of a wallflower. If you are a wallflower, by definition, you are a person who, is awkward, shy or excluded. My creative piece is a picture a symbolic view on people who are wallflowers. Charlie is also a wall flower so this picture is mainly directed towards him. The bear represents youth, and a traumatizing experience that happened during his youth (I won't say just because of spoilers) explained towards the ending of the book. The floor-mat represents the feeling of comfort and the feeling of home, so this represents shyness. In the context of how this relates specifically to Charley; Charley was called a wallflower actually at a party, where he was called out in front of everybody for being shy and a good listener. I added the tell all your secrets ----- wallflower inside of a picture frame because you could tell all your secrets to Charlie, and that's how Charlie was recognized as a wallflower. 

Also in my creative piece I have four people hanging by nooses on a wall. I tried to incorporate a more litteral depiction of the term wallflower, and for a person to be a wallflower. The depiction of the term is also in a sense non-litteral, by it being pushed slightly towards a creative edge while still incorporating a meaning. Each flower pot on the heads of the drawn characters represents the feeling of shyness and brokenness. Every single flowerpot on their heads are broken, thus representing them being a wallflower. Each of the drawn figures are hung up on the wall by a noose. This noose to head action isn't simply just a dark twisted way to represent wallflowers, by literally hanging them up on a wall (see what I did there?). In the very beginning of the book Charlie's best friend from middle school killed himself, and so I cleverly added that into the whole wallflower depiction by having all of the people I drew hanged. Charlie may have always been a wallflower, even before he introduces himself to us (the reader) the day before his first day of high school; but the death of his friend Michael would really give any person the perks of being a wallflower (I am so clever today). 

The book's setting is in the early 1990's, and is based around the life of Charlie, which is a generic name he gave to us because he doesn't want us to find out who he is. What I got from this novel is that charlie is conceptually writing to us (the reader). Charlie is writing to us because we are good people, and because we didn't sleep with that one girl, that one night, at that one party... because we could have (inside joke from the story). 
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Negative Space Pictures

Felix d'Hermillon​

A. What is negative space (explain this concept to a fourth grader that has never heard of it)
Negative space is space in a drawing that is not necessary.

B. Explain how you found negative space in 1. your cut out?, 2. in your still life drawing?

I found negative space in my cut out by tracing over the picture onto the paper. I found my negative space in my still life drawing by drawing the object first and then shading all of the space around the drawing and then erasing the lines from the drawing.

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

Its helpful for an artist to see in negative space because then it will enhance his sketching skills.

D. Does seeing in negative space enhance drawings, why or why not?

Seeing in negative space does enhance drawings because it helps you focus more on the outline sketch first and then you can focus on the details later.

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Hunchback of Notre-Dame

For my final Independent Reading Project I created a children's story. It features thee monkeys, Quamisodo, Clause, and Esleramda. The story is a spin off of the Hunchback of Notre-Dame; more specifically, the theme of assuming one's character by his or her appearance. 

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In the "Author's Note" this is what I wrote: "This story is based on the story Hunchback of Notre-Dame, by Victor Hugo. He is also the author of the world famous musical and movie Lés Miserables. The story is set in Paris in the early 1800s. It is a historical story about Quasimodo, a very handicapped and ugly man; Claude Frollo, his father and the town priest; La Esmeralda, an unconventionally beautiful gypsy street performer; and a number of other men and women who all seem to want something to do with La Esmeralda. The Archdeacon Claude Frollo is a very compassionate and intelligent man who falls into a path of darkness after realizing that he failed to raise Quasimodo (his adopted son) and Jehan (his little brother). Quasimodo works the bells in a beautiful cathedral and becomes deaf; this, among plenty of other attributes, is why nearly everybody despises him. La Esmeralda is a Bohemian gypsy who performs in the streets with her little goat; together they perform mind-blowing tricks (which are believed to be witchcraft by many of the spectators).  Between La Esmeralda and the men of the town there is much personal (especially romantic) conflict. There is also heartbreaking conflict between Claude Frollo and Quasimodo, and the rest of the townspeople; the townspeople treat the men cruelly. This story has many fascinating themes, but the best of them all is to “not judge a book by its cover”. Claude Frollo is a priest so people assume he is sweet and gentle, yet by the time he reaches 40, he is a crooked, horrible and secretive man. On the flipside, Quasimodo does not speak much because he is deaf and only has one eye. He also has a hunchback and walks awkwardly so people assume that he is an alien, mean and wild man. Yet, Quasimodo is a truly genuinely caring person."


Of all of the characters in the story, I could relate most of all to Phoebus, the promiscuous soldier. Don’t get me wrong, I do not relate to him because we are both promiscuous; I can relate to him because when he is among the beautiful, rich and fancy ladies, he feels very uncomfortable, even though he was raised very properly. He feels more comfortable speaking roughly, dressing casually, and interacting with the average people. I went to a private Jewish school for ten years and now that I have finally left, I will always feel out of place with my friends that still go to private Jewish schools. The way Phoebus feels is nearly exactly the same way that I have grown to feel nowadays. It’s not that I have a preference for people who are not “rich and Jewish”, but it’s just simpler and more fun for me to hang out with other kinds of people too.



My favorite character is easily Claude Frollo. Claude Frollo is my favorite character for only two reasons. Firstly, I find it mind-blowing that a person can transform from such a compassionate and eager-to-learn young man to a twisted and impudent man.  He used to study tirelessly at the University; he adopted his younger brother at the age of 16 because their parents had died (due to the plague); and on top of that, he took in the discarded child, Quasimodo, and raised him and loved him as his own. Then, once his boys grow up, he turns to studying alchemy in the tall towers of the cathedral, Notre-Dame. Now he rarely emerges from his workspace. When people try to speak to him, he is often unresponsive or just rude and frightening. The only exception to this kind of behavior is Quasimodo; I think this is because they both receive hostility from the people of Paris. The second reason that I enjoy Claude Frollo so much is because he is so complex and unbelievable intelligent. 



Finally, I think this book is fantastic, and I would strongly recommend it to anybody who is willing to deal with the somewhat tedious writing style of Victor Hugo. The only (minor) issue that I found with this book is that it had a bit too much historical narration for my taste. At the beginning I felt that it was tough to read through all of the non-fiction, but I did it anyway because I really wanted to get to the rest of the story. It was undoubtedly worth the strain. In conclusion, this is a marvelous story filled with intricately built characters as well as a beautifully written description of the setting. This book is great for anybody who is prepared and eager to read the story despite the slightly tiresome historical reports.  

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Element Project

Felix d'Hermillon
Art - Element Project

Inquiry - I used inquiry by figuring out what I should draw.
Research - I used research in this project by researching what I should represent my element with. What symbol I should use to represent Phosphorous.
Collaboration - I used collaboration in this project by working with my surroundings really well, my peers.
Presentation - I used presentation in my project by making my art presentable. I put matt around it.
Reflection - I reflect that I enjoyed this project and I think that I did ok.

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Independent Reading Project

           Ned Vizzini’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story is a deft, eloquent, and riotously funny novel about a not so humorous topic – the crippling effects of depression.  Inspired by the author’s own experience during his five-day stay in a New York psychiatric hospital, this book was published in 2006.  He was only twenty-five.  A major Hollywood film of the same name staring Keir Gilchrist, Dana DeVestern, and Zach Galifianakis was released four years later.

            It’s Kind of a Funny Story tells the story of Craig Gilner, a driven teenage growing up in Manhattan.  Ever since he was young child, he knew exactly what he wanted to be - he was going to be the president of America.  He is a conscientious worker; and because of his ambition and this hard work he is able to get admitted into Manhattan’s most exclusive school and labor intensive, the Executive Pre-Professional High School, which is full of some of the most precocious children of his age.  Even though Craig convinces himself that this was what he wants, he finds that in this new school he is struggling to just keep up with the rest of the pack.  His best friend, Aaron, on the other hand, got into the school without even trying.  

            Craig feels anguish as everything starts to pile up on him - schoolwork, extracurriculars needed to get into a decent college, social obligations, and guilt because of what he is putting his family through.  Could he possibly get into a decent college or even make it through high school?  This anxiety continues to grow in cycles until his life  gets turbulent and it becomes to be too much to bear.  Craig becomes suicidal.  Fortunately, Craig has the good sense to check himself into a psychiatric hospital before it is too late.  Here he finally feels safe.  There is a sense of stability here that anchors him to reality, something he was unable to find in the outside world.  He feels in control.  The hospital is his bulwark against his depression.  In this environment he is finally able to piece everything together, to brood constructively.  He connects to the others in the ward because even though they are of all different ages and have different troubles in their pasts they are all going through rough times and are able to help each other get through them.  

            In the hospital he meets many people who proved to be true friends, the most prominent of which is Noel.  Noel has the same problem as Craig, which is revealed to us by the scars on her cheek. Both Craig and Noel are teenagers struggling under the weight of adolescence and the expectations and labels that society has placed on them.  This is a bond that cannot be broken.  It is what makes this story so powerful in addition to being witty.

             This is an excellent book for teenage readers trying to make sense out of what it means to be a unique and complex individual and how we can navigate between our expectations and reality.  Life can be fraught with danger and pretty scary at times, but if Craig Gilner can tame his pernicious demons, I think that we, too, should be able give it a good shot. If we can accomplish this self-discovery with half the humor of the narrator, we will be doubly successful.  The novel feels like a genuine rendition of a teenager’s experience. This made the characters and emotions relatable giving the book an extremely powerful message. Other than modifying some annoying colloquial phrases that seem forced, I wouldn’t change a thing.  If you like heavy topics dealt with in a light-hearted and witty way It’s Kind of a Funny Story  is a must read.  I for one strongly recommend it.

           

 

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IRP: Speak By Laurie Halse Anderson

For my last Independent Reading Project for Mrs. Dunn I read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. This book was first published in 1999. Laurie Halse Anderson was awarded many awards for her books and this book as well. The awards were Printz Honor Book Award, a National Book Award nomination, Golden Kite award, the Edgar Allan Poe Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.Speak touches on many problems in a teenagers life. Struggles with school, friends, parents and pernicious rumors. Throughout Speak you find that being an outcast isn’t good nor is it healthy. It makes you feel unwanted and most times makes you go into a deep depression. 

Melinda Sordino, the main characters, struggles with being an outcast. Speak is about her life, her story, but it’s all up to her if she wants to tell it. It all began at a party when she called the cops at the end. The reason is because she didn't feel secure when she was with Andy Evans. The beginning of high school her friend circle was desolate.This made her fraught with anger which sent her down into a spiral. But she had art. She could express herself in Art and that was the only class she received an A in. The project she received for the year was a tree. This tree later symbolizes Melinda's growth to over come her fears and speak up about the night of the party. 

I could relate to this story because I know how important socializing is to a high schooler.   It may not be important to all kids but to most it is. Feeling wanted it is the best feeling. To know that someone actually cares about you besides your family and God. Being accepted, knowing people, going places, and having friends feels perfect. But you have the pick the correct people and you also have to learn for yourself who people are and how they affect you. 

I liked Speak because it touched upon a serious topic that young woman and woman go through. I also liked the book because it was structured well and written well. It’s suspenseful and makes it easy to read and want to read the whole book in one day. For me reading a book in one day seems boring but this book made it easy to complete the task. Like any other book Speak had some weaknesses. The biggest weakness was the way the book was sectioned. I understand each marking period to show growth but it wasn’t necessary. There was a strength also. The strength of the book was the way it was written. Laurie Halse Anderson gave a lot of details that helped understand the situation Melinda was in. 

I recommend this book for teens who want a good story to read.Speak  is a very interesting book. It's not a typical book about a girl in high school. It's not about treachery, or jealousy. It's about a normal girl who is hiding a secret because she can't tell anyone. Speak is a sapid and genuine novel. It touches upon topics that people don’t like talking about. This book is easy to get attached to and you can begin to feel how Melinda feels. 

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Becoming Chloe(Independent Reading Project)

True colors

This song is about finding yourself, and although in the book Jordan and Chloe are searching for the good in the world, they also find themselves. They help each other find themselves.

Hold On

Jordan and Chloe had hard lives before they met each other. Jordan was put down every by his family for being who he was. And all Chloe has seen in her life is evil. But they made through those tough times. And the hard times, helped them enjoy the good. This song is all about holding out through the bad times, so you know witch moments are the good ones.

How to love

Chloe experiences heartache all through out here life. She never knew what it felt like to be loved by someone, who didn't just want her for her body. But Jordan shows chloe that there it is possible for her to be loved.

I Was Here

As chloe and Jordan travel across the country, they leave a pice of them selves everywhere they go. Everyone they met they either leave or gain a new out look on the world.


Vienna

Chloe forgot who she was. She lost the happiness that made her who she was. So it was up to Jordan to help bring her back from her depression, by showing her the good and beauty in the world.


Carry On

Even though Jordan and Chloe face many difficulties on their trip across country they face many difficulties, they never give up on trying to see the beauty in the world.


Reasons for song choice:
Ordinary Day

I included this song in my playlist because it was made for chloe. She spent her whole life in the clouds. Seeing only the things she wants to see. And she helps Jordan she the world the way she sees it, as he helps her see the world for the best place it can be.


Thousand Miles

I added this song because Jordan and Chloe took a break form the world. And that time didn't exist where they were.


You Got A Friend in Me

I feel this song represents Jordan and Chloe's friendship. They are always there for each other no matter what. From the moment they met, they have always had each other's backs, no matter witch situation they were in.


Becoming ChloeBecoming Chloe by Catherine Ryan Hyde
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"Becoming Chloe" is a Young Adult novel ,by Catherine Ryan Hyde, about Jordan (Jordy) and Chloe and their journey as they search for the beauty in the world. As the story begins Jordan is alone in the world. Cast out by his family for being Gay, he is living in the basement of a deserted building in New York, NY. One night he hears noises coming from outside the one window, that looks out in to a usually abandoned alley. But on this night he looks out his tiny window, to see a group of me surrounding a girl with torn off Clothes. He saves her, and he becomes her Guardian Angle. They soon save enough money to move to a new home. A better home. But their stay there is cut short, when Otis, the home's owner, and Bruno, his dog dies. The death of Otis and Bruno sends Chloe in to a spiraling Depression and she beginnings to doubt the good in the world. To Cheer her up and make her see the good in the world, he takes on a trip across country.
In my opinion this is a great book. Catherine Ryan Hyde touched subject other young adult authors would never in their dreams think about writing about. The one thing I disliked about the book was the ending. It just dropped off. Yes, Jordan and Chloe ache vied everything they hoped to achieve, and the answered the question sounding their whole trip, 'Was the world good or bad?'. But we didn't get any after thought. Where did they finally settle down? Will Jordan ever find that special some one? Will chloe? These were the questions I asked my self while turing theses last pages of the book. Even though the book left me with questions, I would not hesitate recommending this book. It was a great read, with a lot of depth.

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The Full Spectrum

Taylor Washington

6-6-13

Orange Stream

The Full Spectrum:

A generation of writing about gay,

lesbian, bisexual, transgender,

questioning, and other identities.



The book  The Full Spectrum: ( A generation of writing about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and other identities) edited by David Levithan & Billy Merrell. This book has been research upon by the SLR ( School Library Research), a research journal of the american association of school librarians. They’re research shows that in every high school there should be a LBGTG  literature for teens. Also on Goodreads it has over 1,000+ awesome reviews.   


One of my favorite short stories/ journal in this book is “When you’re a gay boy in america” by Danny Zaccagnino. His section had an very engaging story about the way gay people are treated by society. When Danny was a young boy his boy scout counselor told him he was not a true scout.


Danny also shares about his tattoo on his back and what it symbols while also explaining how the same pain from the tattoo reminded him of the pain he went through for being a gay man. His tattoo is a dragon. The dragon represents a protector that will always have his back. But thats just one interesting story in the book of a teenager that went through plenty of struggle because of his sexuality.


Personal Experiences

I can somewhat relate to The Full Spectrum because a lot of these struggles I have witnessed happen to others as they were trying to come out of there shell if being “Straight” and being the sexuality of their choosing.


Opinion?

Yes I will love this book till death bring us apart, because one of the biggest strengths of this book is each journal entry they are all so unique it's almost like reading someones secret diary. If I could change any aspect of the book it would be to have sections for each theme of the book so that you kind of had a clue of what you were about to read.


Recommendations??

Yes I would definitely recommend this book  to anyone who is mature enough to be able to have a sort of understanding of the fact that the stories in this book are very extreme on the way people put there feeling out there. These teens deserve respect.


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IRP Project

V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd is a powerful dark storytelling book

that is about a city in London that lost it’s freedom and being ruled by this computer who is

used by the dictator of England also known as “fate” then a camp survivor that scaped and

name himself as “V” wants to give the freedom and equal rights to the civilians by killing

people who are in power and also people who were part of the camp where the used to

torture/experiment with people where the main character “V” escaped from.


There are two main characters in the book V for Vendetta who are V and Eve this two characters each have a background about what happened, The character “V” was captured in a camp and his room  number was 5 which is where he got his name; this happened around the 1970’s there was  a war involving London England and the government of London got completely wiped out by people with a lot of power who later on became into a dictatorship and after they

got their power, the Dictator Susan or fate who is a guy made all the asian, Blacks, gays

to go to camp’s where they would torture them and test experiments.


Experiment 5 “V” got captured during this movement of dictatorship and was sent to camps  over the time the test subjects would die slowly while V was still somehow immune to this

injections and toxins that were put in his body, he had a doctor that would often check on him

and write down on his journal saying that when he looked at V she would feel like V was

feeling pity about all of the scientist making experiments on people, over the time the

doctor would give him materials to V to make his flowers grow but one day V used

the materials to make  an explosion and escaped.


After V escape he goes around the city of London saving people and helping citizens

rebel against the city ruled by a dictator, during his journey   he basically he blows up

certain buildings that are connected to the main computer in the dictators office and after

he does that he kills the people that were in the camps that tortured people, also he went

after the most wealthiest people that work in the government or that were linked to

the dictator.


In conclusion I think this book was one the greatest book or graphic novels I have ever read

It has a good story telling and it’s very gripping because as soon as you start reading it

you want to know what’s going to happen next and how everything is going to go down.

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IRP: Yesterday Erased

Joseff Filamor

June 4, 2013

Independent Reading Book: Yesterday Erased


Yesterday Erased by Andrew Schrock follows young teenager by the name of Drew Thomas. Throughout the book it shows Drew’s transformation from a comic-book nerd, to a member of the Cincinnati skateboarding scene. The book starts out by him writing to himself while he is alone at a party, sitting on a couch. He writes about how he came to be what he is today and slowly begins to review his life all the way back to being 14, which is where the book truly begins. First, it shows how Drew comes to be a skater, and then slowly shows his interest in girls and the party life. As he is crossed between staying true to skateboarding or joining his delinquent friends, he searches for the way he best fits in and most enjoys.

The author if this book; Andrew Schrock based Yesterday Erased off of his life growing

up. This was actually the first piece of real writing he has ever written, he quotes “This is my first piece of true writing. As I can remember, I only wrote half of a term paper in high school.” Andrew Schrock is not only an author, he also owns and operates his own skateboard company; ReVive skateboards, and he is also a YouTube partner that delivers videos daily.

I have been following Andrew Schrock for four years now, and I am proud to say that he is one of my idols to look up too. For four years, Schrock has been delivering skateboard videos of himself and his friends and has also been making video on the right choices to make in life, in other words; how to stay positive and never give up. When he first started, he had to work 3 jobs including making YouTube videos on the side. After a year of making videos, he became a YouTube partner and began to make money from every video he made, he was then able to quit two of the jobs he had. From the years of following him, I have watched him gain not only a major amount of popularity and respect, but also has made enough money off YouTube to

support his fiance and newborn son. He now has gained so much popularity over YouTube

that he was able to quit the other jobs he had.

In Yesterday Erased, he describes his life as a kid then growing up all the way to the point of him being twenty years old. Him being an actual skater in real life, he talks about real skateboarding, and what an everyday life of a skateboarder is truly like. I may have said this in my last independent book review, but this one is truly relatable. It may be based off skateboarding, but it also focuses on the social status of an everyday teenager. Partying, girls, and seeking the sense of respect and belonging.

Considering all of the positive feedback I recently stated, there is one con to the book; it goes very fast. Through the first chapter, he does not give a lot of background knowledge about who he is prior to his skate life. He writes about his everyday life; going to school, then going to the comic shop, go home and play videogames, then repeat. His daily agenda gets to be a little

too repetitive and redundant without any other side information.

Further more after that, Drew begins to shift into finding himself and slowly makes

friends that he can all relate too. Basing his character off Drew Thomas, Andrew Schrock writes his life through his perspective without almost no flaws. It is a fast read with plenty of

cliffhangers in each chapter and relatable teenage trauma.  Definitely one to order and read for yourself, you will not regret it!

~Joseff


Below is a video link to AndrewSchrock’s youtube video talking about his book. He discusses why he wrote, how, and what point in his life he was in at the time. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x35lHs7ey1g
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Classified: The Andromeda Strain

For my project, I read the Andromeda Strain. Its an American Science Fiction book by Michael Criton. It was published in 1969. It follows the journey of scientist who have to discover what killed the people in Piedmont, Arizona. I was an FBI agent on the case. Read my report here: http://dft.ba/-TheAndromedaStrain


In the town of Piedmont, a satellite crashes, but the heat shield cracked in space. A bacteria invaded the satellite. The bacteria was dangerous and killed almost everyone in the town. The was called the Andromeda Strain. The team of scientists ended up in Wildfire, a lab that was top security and top secret. They discover that two people survived the Andromeda Strain: Jamie Ritter, an infant, and Peter Jackson, an old alcoholic who drinks Sterno and takes acetometophine by the bottle. The scientists search to find the common link. 



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Katia's IRP on Pablo Neruda's Poetry

I was reading 5 poems from a book named 100 love sonnets  by Pablo Neruda.

He is a chilean poet, he was born in 1904 and died in 1973. Neruda was called the greatest poet of the 20th century  in any language. He won  a lot of prizes one of them was a nobel prize of literature  in 1971. Neruda wrote this book celebrating his love. The book is talking about the different  periods in his relationship with his wife Matteld .


-Poem 1:

It says:  if your eyes were not the color of moon, of a day full of clay and work and fire. this is the first line of the poem. maybe that means that this love is so beautiful  but so hard it is like if we say that this love is as the most pretty  rose. but the prettiest  rose is the most one that have more thorns than any other tipe of flowers. it is maybe saying that love is the biggest hurt but the largest joie. we could know that he loves her so much, his life depend on her life and that this woman is everything  for him. as he says:           but when i hold you i hold everything that is...


-Poem 2:


The first line says: i crave your mouth, your voice, your hair. silent and starving, i prowl through the streets. It means that he strongly  wants her, and he is looking for her everywhere as he misses her so much, it is saying that he is lost without her and that he is nothing if she is not by his side. she means for him a lot and he loves her much.


-Poem 3:


It is saying that the time is so short when they are together. or maybe he wants to say there is something happened  and they were focusing on it then he could not  enjoy  her her, and now he wants to give that time to do what he could not do.

 it seems that he really likes her hair. as he says: i only want to be your stylist. also he is telling that he loves her so much, as he says:  do not forget me remember that i love you. also, he really needs her with him, as he says:  don't  let me wander lost without your hair.


-Poem 4:


The first line of this poem says: i do not love you as if you were salt--rose, or topaz...I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.  it maybe means thatthis love is a secret between him and himself and that it could be something so pretty  that we can see but it is not as it is invisible. but however he it is a beautiful  feeling inside,  as he says: i love you as the plant that  never blooms but caries in itself the light of hidden flowers.he is saying that he just love her and he can not control his feeling, as he says:  i love you without knowing how or when or frome where. he loves her so much and his heart, his mind and his soul are always with her, he is talking as there is two souls in one body, as he says:  so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as i am fall asleep.


-Poem 5:


in the first line it says: leaning in to the afternoons i cast my sad nets towards your oceanic eyes.  so, he is trying to get something from something that can not give him what he is looking for. he is putting his nets in a sad ocean where there is nothing to get,.the fire of that love is burning him and no one could take him out even  water   as he is talking about fire and  drowning. he is lost, he is drowning in that ocean which is her eyes or love, he is lost and he wants to  be in the sea or the beach, he wants to see the land, he wants to see something that tells him that he is all right and he does not need to be scared anymore, something like the lighthouse. all of these things that he wants to see are just in her eyes, all of these places where he wants to be are in her eyes. but her eyes are so far, he can not see her eyes as they are absent  eyes which means that everything is absent. he says:  there in the highest blaze my solitude lengthens and flames, its arms turning like drowning man s. i send out red signals acrosse your absent eyes that smell like the sea or the beach by lighthouse.     his love for her gives him a courage  and strength, he could do anything just to arrive to her, as he says:   leaning to the afternoons i fling my nets to the sea that is thrashed by your oceanic eyes.  it seems like this love hurts him someway but it still beautiful  and he is fighting for it, as he said:  the birds of night peck at the fast stars that flash like my soul when i love you. the night gallops on its shadowy mare shedding blue tassels over the land..


I really love these poems, i like how the poet is using the opposite language and relating everything to nature, his poems are unclear, i feel like he has some of sheakspear  language as he uses a lot of medaforms  and we can not understand   what he wants to say exactly.  if i would have an opportunity  to change something in these poems i would never change anything, when i was reading them i felt   that he  feels what he wrote or he wrote what he felt. and if the write what he feels he makes the reader live with him what he is saying. 

i am so glad because i knew this poet and i  rad  his poems i hope if i could read the haul  book. if some one is looking for something to read i would definitively  say that this book is one of the best books.


                                i loved it, i loved it, i loved it.

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Rx by Tracy Lynn

Tracy Lynn crafts another gripping, yet comedic, novel for the eyes of young adults. This book, titled Rx helps the modern teenager understand the ongoing strife between their daily ‘Job’ of being a teenager and the struggles that come with it: self-esteem issues, self-recognition, relationships, romanticism, academic achievement, and highlights drug abuse.


Rx’s main character, Thyme, has a preconceived fascination with drugs, not because she wants to have to rely on them. Simply because of what drugs have the ability to do;

“They can’t make you fly, but that can make you feel like you do. They can make you jump higher and run faster. Think better and smarter. Make your cough and cold go away. Put you to sleep. Wake you up. Get old geezers’ johnnies goind and put the kibosh on sexual predators. They can grow more hair for you or stop it from growing on your chin. They can give you clear, beautiful skin. They can keep you from getting pregnant or help you get pregnant. Cure your salmonella, your gonorrhea, your fricking foot fungus. Forget just uppers and downers: Prescription drugs really are the magic potions of the real world.” Thyme is like many other high school students that experiment with prescription pills; she is curious and wants to know more about them, and for this curiosity, she cannot be blamed.

She begins her short tenure as a drug dealer in her upscale suburban high school after she steals her close friend, and eventual boyfriend, Will’s bottle of Ritalin for herself to use as a study drug after he rejects using it. Once she begins using it for herself, she starts to try other drugs wherever she may find them: medicine cabinets, purses, kitchen counters, friends’ book bags. Once she begins controlling her own mood swings and the counter effects of the drugs she’s taking, she begins selling and dealing them to her other friends that have the same dependences as she does. 

In the final section of the book (the novel is divided into two sections: Junior Year and Senior Year, the last chapter of the book, titled The End goes into Thyme’s very first year as a freshman in college), Thyme finds herself in the bathroom of her dorm in college, and as she organizes her bathroom caddy, she finds a few pills. She goes to the toilet to flush them down and end her cycle as a dealer, but before she can react, she overhears her new acquaintances asking where they might get Adderall or Ritalin or Stratera. They're willing to pay, and Thyme is willing to supply.

Tracy Lynn crafts Thyme in a way that she does not, in any way, fit the profile of a drug dealer: she is a straight A student, intent on going to college, finishing her work, being kind and cordial with everyone, looking out for those she loves, living in an affluent community. She doesn’t have the assumed conniving spirit of a drug dealer. She keeps her situation quiet for as long as possible, she remains under the radar.

Lynn shows that not only middle and lower class children experience the temptation of finding a way to ‘help’ themselves with whatever they need, through the assistance of drugs and drug abuse. She gives a different perspective; it is one that some are aware exists, but is unbeknownst to the masses. She brings it to light in this thought-provoking novel.



In Lynn’s afterword, she tells her readers that her reasons for writing a book such as Rx are “purely personal”. She was friends with two people whose lives were adversely affected by the wear and tear of illegally obtained prescription drug addiction and abuse. She warns readers that the phrase “just say no” does not get easier to follow with age. A touching finish to a book such as this, I find that Tracy Lynn really implemented her personal life in this novel, which is always reassuring to recognize when it comes to a novel like this.



I find that the summary on the back fits the book perfectly, but doesn’t give too much away. It summarizes but isn’t too revealing. Rx by Tracy Lynn is a novel that I recommend to those who love a book that they can connect with. I found one quote especially moving, and have used it in my writing:  “In high school, hell is not the absence of God, but of communication.” I will carry that with me forever. Nevertheless, Rx is a novel for all readers. Insightful and appealing, Rx will always find itself on my bookshelf.






rx
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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire IRP

Jamie Turner

6-7-13 Orange Stream

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The book I read for my second independent reading project this year was “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”  I decided to read this because I really enjoyed the first “Hunger Games” and I had heard that the second book of the trilogy is even more exciting than the first one.  Now since this is the sequel of “The Hunger Games” I wouldn’t suggest reading this if you plan on reading any of the books because I will have to spoil some of the parts of the book in order to let you know how I feel about certain parts.


The book picks up where “The Hunger Games” left off.  The main characters Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark have just won the hunger games and are planning on going on their victory tour.  Before the tour she is informed by the president himself that one slip up could cause an uprise throughout the Districts of Panem (their home country).  Katniss has discovered that she and Peeta will have to go back into the Arena.  After a series of events in the Arena Katniss whose main objective was to keep Peeta alive, discovers that the remaining contestants have tried to rebel against the capital and have demolished the barrier that keeps them in the arena.  After the Barrier is destroyed Katniss becomes unconscious.  She wakes up in what used to be district 13 and finds out that her own district was blown up.  Going into the book I never saw any of this happening.

Personally I really enjoyed “Catching Fire”.  It had me on the edge of my seat.  A lot of the time I could not put the  book down just because I wanted to know what was going to happen next.  It seems as though the author Suzanne Collins makes sure that the most shocking things happen at the end of the chapters so the reader wants to keep reading.  There were days when I wouldn’t get out of bed until one o’clock in the afternoon because I just couldn’t stop reading.


The only problem I had with the book was that at some parts the author was a little too descriptive.  I felt as though Collins spent too much describing things that really had no relevance to the story line.  I would get a little bored when the author decides to take up 3 pages describing the different foods Katniss is being served.  This wasn’t a major problem for me because I felt as though something like this is too minor to not want to read the book.


I would most definitely suggest this book to almost anyone.  Going along with what I said about description in the book there are some pretty violent parts that younger readers may not want to hear so I might not suggest this to younger children.  Anyone else who has an interest in trying out “The  Hunger Games” trilogy I would highly suggest it.  This book brings a little bit of everything to the table.  It has a love story, it has some action parts, and it has it twists in the plot which I think really makes this book.


I’ve decided that I am going to finish this trilogy over the summer.  I am not usually interested into reading a book but these books have an exception.  “The Hunger Games” is like no other book I have read before.  Like I said it has some of everything in it.  The thing that makes me want to keep reading is that once you start reading you get attached to these characters.  It makes you feel like you are meeting these people in real life and you are a part of their community.  You also get to develop your own opinions on different characters.  Of course the book has its antagonists and protagonists but you have a specific way you think of them no matter what happens.


Overall I am very pleased with “Catching Fire” It has its twists and turns in the story line but it has nothing too far fetched that you just can’t read it.
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Halo: Ghosts of Onyx book review

Independent Reading Book

David Leonard

The book I read was called Halo: Ghosts of Onyx by Eric Nylund. This book is the fourth book in the halo book series. It is continueing the New York Times bestselling series based on the Xbox game. This book was published in 2006.

A man named Kurt who is kidnapped while on a mission to train the next gen. of super soldiers known as Spartan III’s to fight a war. These super soldiers are made of kids who were orphaned by war. They are sent on suicidal missions in which most did not make it. But then the planet Onyx which they train on activates ancient technology they have to fight for their lives and try to recover some of this tech to put an end to the war.

The conflict in this book is the Human race is at war with an advanced alien race called the Covenant which are made up of different alien species. The Covenant win the majority of the battles but the humans are able to win small battles but with heavy casualties. Then something in the planet Onyx turns on and creates these AI units called sentinels. These sentinels are very dangerous and put both the humans and Covenant in danger.

The main characters are a man named Kurt, Dr. Catherine Halsey, Chief Menendez and the Spartan III’s. Kurt is a Spartan II and in charge of of training the Spartan III’s. Dr. Halsey is trying to recover the ancient technology on Onyx and use it to end the Human-Covenant War. Chief Menendez is Kurts right hand man in training the Spartan III’s and former trainer of the Spartan II’s. The Spartan III’s are an army of Spartans that are sent on nearly impossible missions where most don’t survive.

I cannot relate to any of the characters in the book. I never felt some of the same things that the characters felt. I could not relate to any of the characters because I never experienced anything like the characters. I also never been put in a near suicidal situations.

I think this book is O.K. A strength of this book is it explains what is going on and what some things are for people who don’t understand what is going on. A weakness is that the book sometimes changes the setting in the middle of a chapter. If I could change something in the book I wouldn’t change anything since it is based off one of my favorite video games. I would recommend this book to other people because it is very descriptive and is at a high school reading level.


Creative English IDR
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Independent Reading Project

Nicholas Sparks has written, yet, another sensation. The Best of Me is, like many of other of Sparks’ books, a #1 New York Times bestseller. This story is currently in the works of coming to the big screen. The Best of Me will be produced by Nicholas Sparks Productions and Denise DiNovi, who is not new to bringing Sparks’ books to life. She also helped produced the very famous A Walk to Remember and The Lucky One. 

The Best of Me tells the story of two high school kids from two separate worlds who fall deeply in love. Amanda Collier, one of the main characters, is the beautiful, perfect, rich girl in the town of Oriental who is expected by everyone, especially her parents, to go to the best college, marry the best guy, and live the perfect life, but that is not what she has in mind for herself at all. She does, though expect of herself to live a perfect life and that is because she sees the rest of her life being with only one person, Dawson, another main character. Dawson Cole has unfortunately taken on the bad reputation from his family members, but not because he was like them, just simply because he was born into them. “The Coles” were the trash of the town. They’re liars, thieves, drunks, fighters, and just downright trouble-makers. Not only did Amanda’s family forbid their love, but as did the town. There were always going to be whispers about the two of them, but it didn’t matter as long as they had each other. 

It all started when they became lab partners, and from then on they were inseparable. Dawson’s family did not approve of the fact that he “thought he was better than them”, so they beat on him. Finally, Dawson had enough and moved out. He found a truck to crash for the night, unknowing that it was going to be the start of a true home and friendship. Tuck, another main character, recently lost his wife, destroying him and leaving him to be alone as a depressed drunk. Having Dawson around gave him a sense of security and friendship. He let Dawson live in his garage and also gave him a job, but that was pointless considering since once Dawson’s dad and cousins found out about the money they once again beat on him until he gave it up every month. Tuck knew about this and became more of a father figure to Dawson making sure he could always get by even without the paycheck. Tuck, though, was the only other person besides Amanda and Dawson who really witnessed, understood, and could describe the type of love they had. He knew it was that “once in a lifetime kind of love”. Dawson and Amanda faced their final obstacle  when Amanda’s parents gave her an awful alternative, Dawson or college. They did this knowing how important college was to her, and that she couldn’t afford it on her own considering she has always just been handed everything. Dawson still meant more to her than anything and she quickly gave up her dream of college and decided to move in with Dawson. Dawson couldn’t take her dream away from her, though and ended it between them. 

It is now many years later and Amanda is no longer that love struck 18 year old girl, but a married mother of 4, well technically now only 3 due to the fact that her daughter, Bea was diagnosed with a brain tumor as a baby and passed away.  Her father had also passed away. The deaths of her loved ones and her awful relationship with her now alcoholic husband, she periodically went back to Oriental to visit Tuck. Dawson, out of the army and quite the same man, is still living alone. He has yet to date anyone since Amanda. The two of them, unknowingly, are being set up to meet again. They are both coming back to Oriental because of the death of Tuck, but before he went he made sure they would get their second chance because he knew they had a love like him and his wife. Amanda and Dawson soon catch up and before they know it they once again expressing to each other how in love they are, have always been, and always will be. But Amanda can’t turn away from her other life that easily, and they both think maybe they’ll have a place together in the world someday, but not now. On the way home Amanda is informed her son and husband were in a deadly accident, leaving her son in immediate need of heart transplant. Dawson, on the way home, did the only thing that would truly make up for one of the biggest regrets he has always had. While going past the bar he realizes his cousins are beating to death the son of the man he accidentally killed in a car accident that wasn’t his fault. By saving this man’s son he began to finally forgive himself, but then he was shot. Dawson was killed instantly and Amanda was crushed by the news, but then Dawson truly gave Amanda the best of him. Dawson’s heart was used to save Amanda’s dying son. Amanda’s kids were all healthy and safe, her relationship with her husband became stronger, and she was happy, but she will always be in love with Dawson Cole. 

The conflict of this story is mainly about Dawson and Amanda’s relationship and the rest of the world. It seems all the odds are against them. They overcame quite a few obstacles, but time seemed to do them the worst. Time gave them the opportunity to move on and the space from one another to grow doubtful of their love being just a teenage fling or the real deal. In time, yes they still loved each other, but they are both too good of people to just hurt the others they have built their separate lives with just so they can be happy. 

My favorite character from the book is Tuck. Tuck did everything he could to be a good father figure, friend, and advisor for Dawson and Amanda. He believed in their love and believed they both deserved, more than anything, to be happy. He even made sure before he died that the one thing that would be taken care of are the two of them. 

Being so young, I have yet to really relate to this book. Obviously every teenage girl fantasizes to be in a teenage love like Dawson and Amanda that lasts and can overcome anything, but unfortunately, like many others, I have yet to experience that. 

Like every other Nicholas Sparks book, I love it. I think a strength of this book is just the overall plot. Teenage love that lasts a lifetime really captures people because that is kind of the ideal theory. Another strength is the ending of the book, which didn’t make me happy, but did make it realistic in a satisfying way by showing that nothing can ever be perfect and you can’t always have a happy ending. I really don’t think there were any weaknesses of this book, nor do I think I would change anything. I love this book exactly the way it is. 

I would definitely recommend this book to others because it really portrays this idea of destiny intertwined into an amazing love story. The idea of it all is very interesting. The way destiny brings these two people together, keeps them together, brings them back together, and then help them save each other really puts things into a different perspective and is unlike any other book. 

Nicholas Sparks always has books fraught with amazing and inspirational little quotes. The Best of Me is no exception of that. “Don't take my advice. Or anyone's advice. Trust yourself. For good or for bad, happy or unhappy, it's your life, and what you do with it has always been entirely up to you.” I think this is a great quote because it really speaks to people that the choices in your life, no matter how pressured you are, are still entirely yours. You and only you should be in control of your life. “Change isn't always for the best.” I like this quote because I really relate to it. People are always pushing this idea that change is good, but this just agrees with me, sometimes it isn’t. “I gave you the best of me, he'd told her once, and with every beat of her son's heart, she knew he'd exactly done that.”  I really enjoy this quote just because I think if you could describe this book in a few words than this quote did more than a good job at that. “Because you aren't just someone I loved back then. You were my best friend, my best self, and I can't imagine giving that up again." He hesitated searching for the right words. "You might not understand, but I gave you the best of me, and after you left, nothing was ever the same.” I picked this quote just because it is probably one of the best love quotes I have ever heard. 

Nicholas Sparks, one of the most deft authors alive, made his outbreak after the release of The Notebook, which is still considered to be one of the best love stories ever told and is included in many people’s lists when asked what either is their favorite book or their favorite movie. Many of Sparks’ books are inspired by his family members, as are the characters names in his books. Many of Sparks’ books have been #1 New York Times bestsellers, as they have also always made a big hit when released to theaters after being brought to life. Nicholas Sparks’ wife is always considered to be the luckiest life in the world, considering her husband is considered to be the most romantic husband in the world. Some unknown facts about Sparks is that he ran a full scholarship at the University of Notre Dame for track, wasn’t recognized as an adept author until his third book, The Notebook of course, and he also has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.


photo
Creative description: The word "destiny" is written across to best describe their story. They were destined for each other. The words written inside describe ways they are, or, how they are destined, and things, places, or ideas that make them destined. The words are written in the order they happened as a timeline. The hearts with their names represent them and their love, and if you look closely the word "destiny" is written inside tracks in which separates the hearts to show how they were from "opposite sides of the tracks", and had a forbidden love, but the words in the tracks are what kept pulling them back together. The truck represents where it all began. 
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Negative Space

A. Negative space is the distance between and around an image.


B. In my cut out the negative space was the outline of the shadow of the drawing. In my still life drawing the negative space was the space between and around my images.


C.  By using negative space the artist can make a clear drawing of a image without capturing every single little detail.


D. Negative space does enhance drawings because it’s  a beautiful way of capturing an image.

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