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Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

“Everything you can imagine is real.” ― Pablo Picasso. This sophomore year English and History has been a total rush. Like something out of a scene of Fast and Furious, it was a constant motion forward of learning and growth in myself. English was my chance to break my shyness and really give me the opportunity to express myself. History was my chance to learn more about current events in the world, along with old events that I could connect one to the other.

In English class, we did many things that gave me the opportunity to express myself. The best example for this would have to be when the class did the Iron Stream Poetry Wikis. It was exciting because I love music, and music is a form of poetry. Being able to express my feelings without being judged was such an amazing feeling. A great opportunity that rose from this was being able to hear other people’s poems and having other’s hear my own and criticize and help me make them better. That was a good way for me to enhance my poetry.

I’ve always been interested in the Army. I’m not sure why, but I find it as a touching subject, and somehow the stories always find their way to my heart. When I hear about troops dying in combat or being seriously injured, I always put forth my respect to them, because they are the truth behind my safety. When we had the opportunity in English to do a podcast about “Crossing Boundaries” I figured I should do mine on the U.S. The U.S. always finds itself in the middle of a conflict simply because we are nosey and try to hard to fix things. This is how our wars outbreak, by not minding to ourselves. I interviewed my brother on this subject in my podcast. It was intriguing what he had to say, and very interesting as well.

My favorite unit in History, which was a pretty recent one, was where we learned about Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi is more than just a man of peace to me. He was an inspiration to me, an idle. He is the reason I began to see the world in a different perspective. I use to be agressive and I constantly had a temper. My temper is caused by my anger issue that unfortunately is passed to me from my father. What this means for me, is little things will enhance my frustration and temper that usually don’t bother someone else. I began to learn and read about Gandhi and how his methods of nonviolence worked. This was where I began to change and take control of my anger and suppress it when I have too. Our History Journal, #39, asked “Which is a better method? Non Violence or violence?” My response was aimed towards the method of Nonviolence because I strongly agree with it, depending on the situation. “I personally push nonviolence to be more powerful, because no matter how provoked you get, the ability to control your anger and the physical want to hurt someone is strongest.”

Another unit in History when we learned about the Arab Springs and made videos about them. We got into a group and picked a country and did research on it. My group was given the country Bahrain. In the video we discussed the violence in Bahrain and how the people are trying to protest against the President of Bahrain for change.

One of my favorite English Journals was #41 when we were asked “When was the last time someone forgave you or you forgave someone? Is it possible to always forgive someone?” This was during the unit about the Holocaust. My response was personal and had meaning to myself. A part I said for the second question, if it’s possible to always forgive someone, I wrote: “Yes, it is always possible to forgive others...Just like those people who had a choice, you as well have a choice. It’s your own personal decision on if you should or shouldn’t forgive that person. Forgiveness is the step in moving forward, it helps put conflicts in the past to stay.” I believe forgiving someone is the step to peace.

Lastly, relating to my world peace can be made through us topic, I would like to discuss about the beginning of the year in English class when we read Lord of the Flies. The book was based on a group of british schoolboys who get trapped on an island after a plane crash. There is tension in the group, while they begin to create a colony. Even at one point, there is judgement, violence, and war for leadership. The boys learned to coop with one another, and peace was created at the end. Although there was peace, the path to peace was rocky and rough. I wrote my paper on this, the concept of leadership, for English.

In Mr.Block’s English and History class, I grew mentally in many ways. I learned a lot about the world and how there are lies thrown at the people of countries in the greed for power, or how sweatshops in China have nets at the top of the factories to reduce suicide, or even how poems can be as simple as 2 lines. I was able to expand my mind in these two classes. The expansion of my mind enhanced my sight and vision on the world. Personally I am more disappointed in the U.S. government even more now. I hope I can use what I learned in Mr. Block’s History and English class even further in my high school experience. It was an honor being able to learn all of the things I did.

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Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

I remembered when I was younger, I was bound to be confused in history class. And although writing and reading was my strongest subjects during elementary and middle school, I was very uninterested during english class. Everything I learnt was similar to each other or typically not surprising. I felt like I was missing out on a lot of things that I’d find more interest in, something that gets me excited or something that’d lit my eyes hearing about. It was same thing every year in history and english. Nothing out of the ordinary in english and history class. School was becoming just like what see you on TV. My first year of high school wasn’t as bad as I thought it was during english and history. In full honesty, during my sophomore year of attending to english 2 and world history class, it doesn’t even feel like I’m in here to advance in reading or learn about our fathers of America. I have never learnt so much in my life until this year, thanks to Mr. Block’s classes.

In history, I learnt that everyone needs to share the blame in any type of situation. For example, we learnt about the fall of the Aztecs empire. We set up a court system and divided everyone equally into groups. Such as the Aztecs, Cortes, Cortes’ men, etc. We all had to defend ourselves and proven not guilty. It was very hard and I realized in the end that it is everyone’s fault. I didn’t make this conclusion until I wrote the final thoughts about the Cortes’ trial. In this piece of writing, I stated “And this isn't coming from my point of my view because I defended Cortes. I see that the system is also pretty guilty as well as King Charles V, in fact everyone is evenly guilty.” The same went for who’s responsible for sweatshops in third world countries. We set up a court, and divided the entire class into equal groups. The groups were national cooperations, U.S. consumers, sweatshop workers, etc. In the end of the trial, we had to write our final thoughts on sweatshops. In my response to modern day sweatshops, I stated “This is profit, it is literally all about making money. People are blinded by money. People are now brainwashed by profiting, marketing, and doing business. This is how the system works. And we, the people, make up the system of profit.” Every single group that was apart of this trial, whether it was the sweatshops workers, the leaders of the country, the consumers, they all had to take part of dividing the guilt because everyone was involved due to money. That is how I made my conclusions from this project that everyone is bound to be guilty.

Throughout attending to Block’s english and history class, I think about stuff that I usually don’t really have a thought about. For example, simply the definition of freedom. I have never sat down and actually put thought into defining what freedom is to me. In my english journal entry #36, I stated “Freedom is doing whatever the hell you want as long as you’re not harming yourself or harming anyone else.” This is my first sentence of the journal entry and pretty much what I generalize every type of freedom.

As time went by, we started to get in depth about identity. As I grew up, I was struggled a lot with my identity. What exactly was my ethnicity, how I carry myself around and just being me at all times. When we talked about identity, I realized identity has a lot of characteristics that I never thought about. Such as physical appearance, who you really are, what you’re hiding, etc. In a project that I worked on, I chose to make up a question that would get you thinking. It was “In what ways do people confuse physical appearance with identity?”. I made a Prezi presentation and the process of making it was awesome. I just enjoyed the creativity. But of course, I learnt so much about how everyone’s identity is important because it’s crucial that we are being ourselves and not trying to impress society in any type of way. For example, in this project, I used characters from famous Disney movies such as Beauty and the Beast, Shrek, The Princess and the Frog, etc. I then compared it to reality about Victoria Secret Models and how crazy it is that they’re underweight for their height. In the end, I stated “We, confused our identity with our physical appearance” along with a picture of my classmates. I said this because the society we make up, is brought upon us. I believe that nowadays, a lot of people do confused their physical appearance with their identity.

Still talking about the depths of identity, in history class, everyone was required to write a play and submit it to an interesting young playwrites program in Philly. During this personal time, I discovered the world of transexual people. It sounds a bit odd but it became my passion to grow up and help these transgendered people get through harsh times. I found myself reading and watching about transgendered people. I then went through a phase that I wanted to be a pediatric gender identity therapist and help children with transexual issues. The name of my play is "Authentic Woman." I decided to make my main character of the play a male to female transexual. Everyone thought it was a bit weird but I loved my idea of having a transgendered character. In one of the lines I wrote, my main character stated, “You don’t understand either... You don’t know how it feels to pretend you were a straight boy when you were a young teenager, you don’t know how it felt when I tried so hard to fit in by wearing all the boy clothes I’ve had, got my hair always cut short, having to work harder because I’m the “man” of this house. I’m not a man, Apsara, I’m a woman. You’ll understand in the future.” This was very important to hear from the main character. It reveals an entire different perspective of this character. It shows that what he looks on the outside does not define who he is in on the inside. And just thinking about people struggling with their identity and revealing it to the world, is so hard and heart wrenching sometimes.

Towards the end of our unit, we started to learn about the peace maker Gandhi. We started to get in depth about violence and something switch in my head when Mr. Block asked us “what is more powerful? violence, or nonviolence?” I completely onto the violent side but slowly mellowed in between of both after a class discussion. In my history journal entry #39, I stated “I think violence is more powerful. Because I go by the line ‘no one listens until someone dies.’” I do kind of agree with this statement but after learning about Gandhi’s peaceful march and how much he stood up for rights, I realized nonviolence can really win.

It’s been a crazy learning experience.

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Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

I remember when I first heard that I was going to be in both of Mr.Block’s English and History classes. “I don’t want my advisor as a teacher for two of my classes this year” I thought to myself. But that was 9 months ago and since then, I’ve learned more in 9 months then I ever thought I would in two years. I’ve learned more about African American History in World History than I did taking the class in my 9th grade year. I learned about current events that I would have never even took the time to learn about because I don’t turn to the news. But why turn to the news when your classroom has all the information that you need inside?  

        Throughout the year, I’ve learned many things. One thing that stuck with me and will continue to throughout  my life is that “Language is not just a form of speaking.” Before English class, I never thought of language as broadly as I do now. Language isn’t just something you only speak. You can express language in many ways. You can express it through art, movement, or even writing. One way I’ve expressed language in a different form is through a online website called Prezi that showcased my project from a novel I read called “Persepolis”. This book taught me a lot about identity and I reflected that through my project. 

         I learned that language can make you see the world differently like looking through a different lens to help one create a better understanding of the world. Viewing this not just from your eyes, but from the eyes of others in the city, country, and the world can help you understand much more about others cultures and their lives. Looking through a different lens made me realize that not everyone had the opportunities and privileges that others may have. Teenagers have to work and can’t even attend school in some country’s because they have to support their families. Looking through my lens showed me that I shouldn’t take things for granted. For every person that has, there is someone who has not. 

         Almost everyday through out the school year, my class wrote journals for English and History. The journals were based off of we were covering in class for that unit and the different projects we did based off these topics. Writing about what we were doing in class gave me a better mind set of what we were learning. Doing journals everyday was something I always looked forward to coming to class. To me, that was the best part of class. Being able to express your opinions in words. A day in English class, we had to write an optimistic version of what is going to happen to the world in the next 50 years. This journal entry made me realize a lot about the world and what it is going to come to. It made me want to make a change so future generations could live better. 

Below is a link to a presentation of qoutes that I've read and heard through out the year in both English and History class. 

(Please copy and paste link)



Below is an History Journal that stood out to me the most this year.

Below is a link to my poetry portfolio.

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Print Reflection

Inquiry:  I inquired about strontium.  I knew almost nothing about it, and had to research it.  I asked, "What is it used for?"  "How was it discovered?'

Research:I learned things like its atomic number is 38, and that it is used in fireworks and cathode ray tubes, which were used in analog TV's.

Collaboration:  Though this was an individual project, I still collaborated.  I constantly asked my friends and Ms. Hull what they thought of my work, and if they knew a way I could improve it.

Presentation:  The presentation of this piece was the actual printing and matting.  I had fun printing, but the prints did not come out as well as I wanted.

Reflection:  After I was done, I was able to see others' work also.  It was very fascinating, and I found some ideas that could have made my work better.

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Element Print

The beginning of this project was the inquiry of this project. It would be, "What is your element?" Which leads into the next core value of researching.
When I got the element, Gadolinium, I had to research it. I learned that it is in CD'd, and imaging for x-rays, MRI's and color TV's. This was very helpful in designing my plate.
I collaborated with my peers to help me decide which design to use. Ms. Hull was also helpful in this process by bringing me back to reality with what was and was not realistic to do. 
When I handed in my final product for grading, I was very proud with all of the work I had done. All of the pieces I did concerning this project, were great in my opinion and I think they were almost perfect.
This is my reflection. It has helped me really think about the work I have done with this project.
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Q4 ART-Julian Makarechi

My name is Julian Makarechi, a sophomore at Science Leadership Academy. This year I have decided to try to become a better artist by taking Ms. Hull's Advanced Art class. Lately her class has been focused a lot textures, furs, hair, cartoons and faces. The sketches posted below are the ones that I have been working on through out the duration of the 4th quarter. I used to help me figure out the steps to each of my sketches. For my outside project, I decided to paint a simple smiley face on a ceiling tile (a picture of this is also in the slideshow below). With the help of my classmates I was able to make this outside very professional and neat. Overall, I am very proud of my work this quarter and I feel like this class has made me a better artist. 

Link to sketches and Ceiling tile

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Quarter 4. Finial Blog

To end quarter 4, we finalize the Draw Space Unit. Focusing on different textures and different techniques. Throughout the year we learned how to bring our textures to life, by using different hand techniques. This quarter was by far the most difficult. The most difficult drawings were the 3D facial ones. Trying your hardest to not miss one of the finest facial features. Everything that we learned we had to apply to the drawings we were assigned.  

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Q4 "Last Blog"

The art session for "Draw Space" has finally ended. I learned many new things from the website when it came to drawing. I'm usually a painter, but with draw space, they make everyone look like an artist. Most of the drawing were focused on texture and fur. For this quarter, there were a specific amount of drawings assigned along with an outside project of your choice. 
This time for my outside project, the selection I chose was to design my own tile on the ceiling. Given the fact that there already was a Phillies tile and a Sixers tile, I thought it would be a good idea to add the Philadelphia Eagles tile, just to complete out city sports. I projected the official helmet to the inside part of the tile so it would be smoother to paint. First, I gave it a base layer of white, followed by the tracing with a pencil, then I painted the main colors. Which were green, grey, black, and white. 
I hope you enjoyed my blogs and maybe next year, I will be back at it again. For any interest, visit
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Negative space reflection

What is negative space?

Negative space is a picture in black and white showing difference in the lights vs. darks

Explain how you found negative space in 

1. your cut out?, 2. in your still life drawing?

I found it through the different colors in my cut out, I found it in the realness of the still life.

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

Because it gives you two views to art.

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

Yes sometimes.

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It's Kind of a Funny Story IRP

Aaron Block


English (Red)

Ms. Dunn

It’s Kind of a Funny Story Book Review

It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini is a book about a teen who tries to commit suicide and is put in a mental institution. This book was made into a movie in 2010 featuring Keir Gilchrist, Dana DeVestern, and Zach Galifianakis.

Craig, a teenager who just got into a prestigious school in New York City, feels overwhelmed with all his work. On top of that, his best friend Aaron is dating Craig’s crush, Nina. Craig begins to get depressed and uses drugs to feel better. The drugs do not have a lasting effect. After Craig tries to commit suicide, he calls the suicide hotline. He is told to check himself into a mental hospital. There, Craig meets Bobby who shows him around the hospital. He also meets Noelle, who is in the hospital for cutting herself. Later, he falls in love with her. Through art, Craig is able to rehabilitate himself.

Craig has to overcome a lot in this book. Throughout the entire book, Craig has to deal with an internal struggle. This book covers some serious and grim material. Therefore, it is good that Bobby is there for some comic relief. Sometimes, when you think the book may get too intense, Bobby is there to lighten the feel. It makes the book much easier to read. Some themes in this book are peer pressure and self-identity.  

While Craig’s situation is an extreme one, I found some aspects of his experience relatable. I think anybody can react to feeling pressured like Craig was. Craig just let his feeling of being pressured take over him. This book has a very basic human aspect to the book. On the other hand, the setting and other characters in the book can often be hard to relate to. For most, a mental hospital is not a typical setting. It is not a place most of us experience. In addition to the mental hospital being a difficult place to picture, Craig’s experience in the mental hospital is an unusual to say the least. This makes the book less relatable.

While slow at times, this is still a decent book. Craig’s feelings, while maybe not coming in such intense forms, are pretty common. This helps make the book more enjoyable. Craig’s experience in the mental hospital, on the other hand, is something that not most people experience. However, on the down side, I found it hard to immerse myself in the book because of its pace. The funny aspect of the book made up a little bit for the pace.

I would recommend people read this book. If you enjoy reading this will probably be easier for you. For people who find themselves bored when they read, they also might get a little bored with this book. To those people I would also say continue reading because overall, this book is definitely worth it.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story Playlist

Love Buzz - Nirvana

Love Buzz is about being in love with someone. It exemplifies how Craig feels towards Aaron’s girlfriend, Nina. The song is also loud and intense. When someone listens to it, they can feel the frustration in Kurt Cobain’s voice.

Adam’s Song - Blink 182

This song is about a child who wants to commit suicide. He feels like he is under a lot of pressure. Adam’s Song is written in the form of a suicide note which can make listening to it unsettling and uncomfortable, but also fits with the book at points.

Jumper - Third Eye Blind   

This song is about trying to get someone not to jump and commit suicide. It is analogous to the part of the book where Craig is talking to the person from the suicide hotline.

Me and My Friends - Red Hot Chili Peppers

In this song, Anthony Kiedis sings about all of his friends in his band. It is similar to Craig meeting new friends in the mental institution. Much like his friends in the mental hospital, this song is also a little strange.

Teenage Dirtbag - Wheatus

This song is about a guy who likes a girl. This fits with how Craig feels towards the end. In addition, the love interest’s name in the song is Noelle just like in the book.

Always Look On The Broad Side of Life - Monty Python

After some time in the mental hospital, Craig starts to feel better. This song exemplifies that to some extent. It is a cheerful tune even though the lyrics are kind of grim. It is also a funny song to show that the book has some funny parts.

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Element Project

Inquiry: Inquiry was used since I didn't really know much about my element. This project for me involved a lot of inquiry. I wondered things like what can I draw for my element and whats the atomic number of it.  

Research: To start this project, we first needed to know about the element that was given to us. Research was used to help find out what things related with our element, so that it could be turned into a piece of art. 

Collaboration: With our friends we helped each other by giving suggestions and better ideas. We worked together to make each of our art piece the best it could be. 

Presentation: Our art piece will be presented on this blog and on the walls of our school, so we tried to make it nice and presentable. My art piece are professionally pictured. 

Reflection: I had a lot of fun doing this project. We didn't just use pencils and papers, lots of cool things were given for us to use. I think my final product is really nice and I like it a lot. 

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Negative Space

Negative space is when there’s space all around an image. To some people negative space seems like an optical illusion. There’s more than what meets the eye. An example could be a drawing of a vase, the space around it is the negative space. That negative space could also be a drawing of two faces facing each other and the outline makes the vase.

When doing this project it was really hard to find the negative space of the project. When it came to drawing in my sketchbook I was lost. So the easiest way I found the negative space was by making the whole page negative by then I could draw the object or the positive space. With another picture I drew the picture first then added a shadow which acted like negative space. When it came to my real life drawing I used Ms.Hull’s picture as an example. My negative space was the green paper. The trick was to only cut one paper and use the mirror effect to place the positive space down.

I think negative space really enhances drawings. You can look at it in different ways and find something new it makes them fun to look at and it keeps you thinking about what was first. It’s like zebras, are zebras white with black strips of black with white strips? Everyone knows the answer but it’s a fun question to ask. Like art some people see one thing while others see something completely different.

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Negative Space Reflection

Negative Space is when you draw the outline of an object on one side and the other side is colored in. 
I found the  negative space by looking in the empty space between the objects. Then I shaded it in.

I think it is important for artist to use negative space so they can see the whole object. 

Negative space enhances pictures so you can see the outlines of the object. And so you can identify where what object begins and ends.

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Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

         “Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” ― Albert Einstein

This past school year in English and History, I gained a better understanding about what is currently going on in the world. I learned that there is so much stuff going on around us that we are unaware of. Not only did I learn what’s going on around us, but I also got a better insight on the use of language. Language can be your own unique way of communicating. Whether it’s art, poetry, making up your own words, or just speaking how you grew up speaking, language can be versatile. Overall, I gained a better understanding of what is going on in the world around me. 

One of the things we learned about this year in History was the Renaissance. The Renaissance  involved a lot of art. Artists in the Renaissance used art to express themselves, or to express their admiration of people and places. Art in the renascence was a big form a language for the artists who made them. It was their way of communicating to the community. On one of my Renaissance assignments I wrote, “Artists discovered how to paint in three dimensions, bringing realism to their subjects. They broke away from the religious traditions of the medieval world, and the created new genres of art.” I got this from the research that I did on the Artists in the Renaissance. The artists communicated to the community by catching their eye with new genres of art. Here is one of my Renaissance assignments. This affects the world today because many of these Artists became famous legends. Today, the world is inspired by them because they made a statement saying that, you can speak through art. 

                               "Poetry is the universal language" -William Hazlitt.

Another form of language is poetry. One of our units this year in English was a poetry unit, and in this unit we had to create different types of poetry. Throughout this unit I got to communicate my thoughts and feelings into poetry. Actually poetry is one of the ways that I communicate my feelings, and also just writing. They are forms of my language because I’m free to write them however I please. I can say what I want, and not have to worry about what people may think. Here is one of my lines of poetry, “My heart was calmly waiting for me recognize what was right in front of my eyes...”. You can read more here. At the end of the unit we had a poetry festival where everyone shared their poems. Each poem was different because everyone had their own way of writing, and that’s what makes poetry a universal language. Another example is English journal #21 where I wrote about my opinion on having a mask. Society doesn't always allow us to speak freely, so we use art to speak for us. 

We also had language unit in English. In this unit we had to write a language autobiography about our own language. In my autobiography I talked about how I purposely make an effort to have perfect grammar, because I don’t want to be judged by society. Of course I still make mistakes, but I purposely correct myself. In my autobiography, I stated, “I let the use of grammar control me so much, that when I say something incorrectly I automatically feel ashamed. I get embarrassed and I come down even harder on myself. At other times I’m afraid to speak up because I’m afraid of how I will sound, that I may not sound right, or that I won’t make sense.” I came to the realization that language is whatever you want it to be, not what society wants it to be. This year in English helped me realize that one of the ways the world defines you is by how you speak. 

Not only did I get a better understanding about language, but I also learned that You have to step out of your comfort zone to embrace change. In English, we had to make a podcast called “Crossing Boundaries.” In this podcast we had to interview someone who crossed a boundary, and it could be any boundary. My interviewee was crossing the boundary of harshness to sensitivity. In the interview, the interviewee stated, “I had to learn how to be more sensitive. See, I was cut throat, I was told to be honest......and I was even honest if it hurt people, and I really didn’t care.” Being harsh was my interviewee’s “comfort zone”, and it wasn’t until something traumatic in her life happened that she decided to change by becoming more sensitive. After she stepped out of what she was comfortable with, she was able to humble herself by being sensitive. 

Another assignment we did in English was a descriptive essay. In my essay I described my experience going house hunting. My mom and I had never moved, so it was pretty new going house hunting. Moving involved adjusting to our surroundings, and we didn’t know where we were going to move. We had to step out of our comfort zone anyway, and take a leap. Since we were ready for whatever we would come across, it was easier for us to embrace moving. Now, because we did step out of our comfort zone, we moved, and adjusted to our surroundings just fine. To embrace change in this world, you have to take a leap.  

In conclusion, my knowledge and understanding has definitely expanded in History, and English. I’m very much aware of what’s going in the world that I was never aware of before. I’ve learned so much about current events in the world, past events, and things that happened in history that affect us today. I’m very grateful that I’ve learned what I’ve learned this year. Many of the things that I’ve learned, I will continue to carry with me. Like Dr. Seuss said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” I know that carrying the things I’ve learned with me will open many doors for me to go many places. 

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Never Shall I Forget- English Journal #41

Never shall I forget... that last race, spring season of my novice year. 
Never shall I forget the joy and tears of that bittersweet moment. 
Never shall I forget standing on that dock having our coach place the gold over my neck as the people in the stands stood up and cheered for us.
Never shall I forget how close we grown with our coach.
Never shall I forget how much we learned from her, and how much she inspired us. 
Never shall I forget the revenge we wanted on Merion Mercy that day and the excitement when we achieved that revenge.
Never shall I forget the commitment we had put into this sport that year.
Never shall I forget the pain, the sweat, the tears, and the smiles.
Never shall I forget... that last race, spring season of my novice year.
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For my senior project, I decided to do a fashion show, to allowed the SLA community to be apart of it by designing their clothing and showing some skills they have. At first, I did not know where to start. I was confused on how exactly I wanted my capstone to be. Finally, I decided that I wanted each designer to create something that is already made into something new. I wanted the designers to also choose who they want as their models, and what designs they want their models to have. Everyone is not perfect, some people wants to do something once in a lifetime, but they cannot because no one has given them a chance. I felt as though having anyone in my show and as my designer was fine with me. It is hard to be something you want in life when there is no one out there who is willing to help you or give you a chance. Even though I may not be the best at speaking or writing, SLA choose to give me a chance as a student, which made me who I am today. Everything I have learned, I learned it from my SLA family. Therefore, everyone has a passion for something but may not be good at it, so I was actually looking for people like that. Also, I did not want any discrimination towards anyone, so I did not do any tryouts or pick and choose people. As the week went by, I changed up a few things because I came up with new ideas, I needed the SLA community to help me donate clothes, shoes etc., or anything they did not want. The next week, I more and more about how exactly am I going to do this in so little time. I watched Youtube fashion shows and read more articles on how to create clothing, for example cutting sewing and even styles that I thought were cute. After weeks of researching, I found 5 designers who were interested in being a part of my capstone. I told them exactly how I was confused on what to do exactly but I will soon figure things out. So with the help of the SLA community, I was able to get two big bins of clothes and other things. I showed my designer some ideas I learned from researching, and how I wanted them to present their designs. 

  Each week I changed my capstone, or just made it better with some new ideas. Since I wanted it to be a creating new styles from old style I asked my SLA community to help me by donating clothes they did not want. After, I asked the designers to choose five models to model their clothing. Also, they should sketch out their designs for me. Afterwards, I let the designers buy fabrics and colors for their designer, some of them wanted to sew new clothing but did not in the end. Since it was all about the designers, I then thought of a new idea again. I decided to have five themes for the fashion show since there were five designers. Each designer made two outfits per model. As the process went on, a lot of things changed. Some people were not coming during the week to work on their clothing. Some of them were not able to sew with the sewing machine. Also, one of my of my designers dropped out. At first I wanted to freak out and cry, however I did not because I learned that it would not solve the problem and the show was in a week. So, I decided to create a theme to fill in for the designer that dropped out. I asked a teacher to teach me how to sew. I learned how to sew and dip dye in two to three days time, then I helped some of the designers who needed more time on sewing. Along with this, I asked some of friends from CHAD high school to come in to help because they were the experts at it. The week for the show, I taught the models how to walk, asked the camera crew to record for the show and got the DJ, makeup, performers, all that I needed. Overall, at the end of the day, my show went well, because everyone that I asked to help me did their part, and I made sure everything was set up correctly. A lot of the people in the SLA community helped the show to be great, so without my designers and them, the show would not have happened. 

I am most proud of myself, I really had no idea how to start at first but I just know I needed to start, so as weeks went by, I came up with more and more ideas for the designers and i never depended on anything. I always have a back up for just in case. I learned a lot of things threw out this process, I never knew anything about sewing clothes or cutting patterns for the clothes before sewing the clothes. I also learn that teamwork is the most valuable thing you need to a fashion show. But if I had the chance to do it all over again, I would start earlier on plaining things, instead of waiting, I would work with the models for a long time instead of waiting the week of the show. SLA is a better place because I allowed some of my following SLA students to show their talents or got the chance to do something they always wanted to do but never got the chance to do it. Maybe, it change some people lives, some of them may want to become a model or have more confident in performing now. Also, the diversity I made the show to have, everyone felt comfortable with what they was representing, each styles represents something and I feel really good that I was able to make some people feel confident of what they do.

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Q4 Art Drawings

This quarter in art we focused on how to make all of the things we learned throughout the other quarters and made them come to life. We had to make it so that we have developed our drawing skills. So this quarter I really focused on making my drawings life like and making them great to look at.  I believe this quarter was more difficult becasue I had to really incorporate everything I had learned over the Academic school year and make it so that I had life like portraits.  
This quarter I had the most difficulties because I was so focused on developing my skills I really had a tough time demonstrating what it was exactly what I learned. I think it is more difficult to express what it is you are learning on canvas than in any other region of art. This school year I really developed an appreciation for the way things go on in the Art community. Drawing these portraits this year really made my had more steady and I think I am a way better drawer now than I ever was.
Photo on 6-9-13 at 12.22 PM
Photo on 6-9-13 at 12.21 PM #6
Photo on 6-9-13 at 12.21 PM #5
Photo on 6-9-13 at 12.21 PM #4
Photo on 6-9-13 at 12.21 PM #3
Photo on 6-9-13 at 12.21 PM #2
Photo on 6-9-13 at 12.21 PM
Photo on 6-9-13 at 12.20 PM
Photo on 6-9-13 at 12.20 PM #2
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Voces Inocentes

Mi proyecto se trata de cómo guerra puedo violaron derechos humanos. Voces Inocentes se trata de un niño nombrado Chava y su amigos dealing con la guerra civil en El Salvador. Porque de guerra los soldados obtiene niños y forzando ellos luchar sus lado. Chava y su familia y amigos deben sobrevivir la guerra civil.

Voces Inocentes toma lugar en El Salvador en  el 1980 ’s durante el Salvadorian guerra civil. Los carácteres principal de Voces Inocentes son Chava y su familia y amigos. Chava y su amigos toman doce y los soldados de el Salvadorian guerra obtiene niños a doce y fuerza ellos luchar.

Clip 1 22:20 - 23:50


Durante el clip los soldados toman los niños de sus escuela. Este es un violación de educación derecho. Los niños son solo doce y estando fuerza luchar en la guerra. En la militaria no el cosa sola ellos enseñar los niños es como disparar un arma de fuego. Los niños no tienen escuela media y estando tomado hacen soldados.

Clip 2 de 56:50-57:10


Este es un ejemplo de un violación de no  persona debería ser tortura. Después la lucha afuera de la  escuela  los soldados golpean y tortura la sacerdote. Los soldados dijeron que la sacerdote dio permiso por soldado usar iglesias. No persona merce tortura, la sacerdote y las gentes de El Salvador quieren nunca hacer con la guerra.

Clip 3 de 58:20-59:50

Libertad de pensamiento y libertad de reunión pacíficas

Durante esto clip la sacerdote es predicación a todo de la gente sobre la guerra. Este es un ejemplo de defendiendo  libertad de pensamiento y reunión pacíficas. Como la sacerdote habló mas gentes juntaron escuchar. La sacerdote fuera haciendo mal nunca por expresando su pensamiento así los soldados no pudieron interviene.

Aprende que en el Salvadorian guerra civil niños fueran fuerza luchar a doce. De la película soy tomando lejos que todos nosotros deberíamos disfrutar las cosas pequeñas en vida y no tomamos por concede. La película también hace mi realar que allí son gentes en otros lugares que tiene ir  pasado cuando malo cosos diario.
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Final Art Blog, Good Bye Readers!

This is the last quarter of Advanced Art, and we continued to finish up on I learned so much from the site, and my drawing skills have improved. I started with Section H, which was focusing more on face, lips, and the human body. But drawing these helped me with shading and make things in 3D look more realistic. I applied all the things I learned this quarter and improved on my drawings. My favorite drawing from this section is the kid that looks as if he is running, I applied all the skills I learned into this one photo for sure.

The next and last section I focused on was section I. This was a difficult, yet very interesting section, this section tied in all of the new things I know about drawing. I expressed my creativity through my number 2 pencil creating some of the best pictures I ever drew. One of my favorite pictures from this section is the turtle, I shaded, sketched, and made sure it looked real as possible. 

Once I finished that, I remade a art project I did a while back. I copied another artist photo, on a huge paper. I believed my skills and art talents improved, so re drawing this seemed like such a great idea. Once I finished I told my self my hardwork payed off, my art skills improved and now I call my self a true artist. Look below for the final picture, good bye readers.

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A Presentation On Public Education At TFI

​Name: Andrew Chalfen
Mentor: Chris Lehmann
Supporter 1: Doug Herman
Supporter 2: Luke Van Meter
Out of School Mentor: Alice Ginsberg
Out of School Supporter 1: Fredrick Bertley

Topic Summary:

The goal of this project was to understand the economics behind public school education and immerse myself in the environments that are effected. Through that process I created a website to outline my work ( After that I set up a time at the Franklin Institute to give a presentation on my project. Through my presentation I educated and raised awareness of over sixty different people.


This project was inspired by two events in my life. First was a constant delay in transportation after an away basketball game leaving me wondering about the environments of the schools I was visiting. Second was a conversation I had with Mr Herman about white flight in the strawberry mansion area. As my project progressed I was constantly finding myself surprised by how the reputations of many schools were far worse then the school itself. I studied budets and the effects it has on educational culture and learned a lot of surprising information. My presentation at TFI was probably the biggest moment of my academic career not only being filled with my teachers and peers from SLA but also many family members and around 30 of my closest friends from outside of school came and supported me. My project created of serious issues that could potentially impact future generations of students in Philadelphia.
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The Giver - Independent Reading

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Review by Todd Samuels

This children’s novel starts out in a dystopic place. It is a fictional story. Though it is first seen as a utopia by the reader initially. The story follows the main character named Jonas, Jonas is 12 years old. In this fictional society Jonas lives in the society converted to a practice called “Sameness”. The society elects Jonas to be in the position of “Receiver Of Memory”. 

This is a custom in their society that when you turned 12 you were given the job you would have for the rest of their life. For Jonas this meant he was to remember the past ways of all the times before the practice of “Sameness”. He then meets the previous receiver The “Giver”. Jonas initially is confused at the knowledge that is being presented to him. Jonas realizes that his society is deprived of so much information but if they were to find out about what was going on outside of their little world it could cause major chaos. The people in his community are only happy because they do not know a better life. Jonas questions whether to stay with his community or to leave an to see what else is out there for him to explore.  

He asks The Giver to come with him, they both decide that the time for change was now. Jonas had been curious to know what more of the terms in their society meant like “release”. You might just think the normal definition ‘letting go of something’. The something is this society was being lethally injected upon your will. Even having twins was not legal, the smaller twin was literally thrown away. Jonas knew that this had to change. With his new found interest in the outside elements of affection and wanting change Jonas becomes attached to a child that is in the Nurturing Center which is set to be “released” the second day. He, The “Giver” and the child devise a plan to escape. They do escape and get the where was described to be a land called “Elsewhere”.

I do like this book the story constantly kept me engaged in what was going to happen next. This story was somewhat like the hunger games in a sense with the rather extreme measures that were taken in the story. I do not think that there were any in fact weaknesses in this story it is apparent that it was a well thought out plot which is meant to confuse the reader initially until the reality of the story is revealed. I would definitely change the killing of children, babies I do not think that aspect was necessary although it was a major part of the story the reader will not realize until the end though.

Yes I would recommend this book to other people, it isn’t just your average “Cinderella story” there is substance to the reading which keeps you wanting more in my opinion. The author initially draws the reader in with radical customs things that you wouldn’t expect as a first time reader of this story which drew me in as well. The story is well written; and there are three other stories that are a part of the series making four books in total. This is a great reading for all ages.

Creative Poem

 Fiction: By TJay The Poet

It's fiction but its real
This is general & the author is kinda famous 
After reading a bunch of pages at some point you're caged in
You don't want to face reality , he puts knowledge on you it follows you
You must make a decision 
So you devise a plan 
You become 
attached again 
Killing babies , 
and it's crazy 
Maybe you weren't ready , 
he had decided already , 
then he brings his accomplice ,
what he wants he accomplished , 
they go to a world where it was in the prophecy 
Shows that the giver was right 
it's not a game -

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Negative Drawing

​Negative space is the space around/between an image. In my drawing I found negative space by cutting my linoleum block with the linoleum cutters. It helps an artist to see negative space so they can see the space around the picture or drawing. I don't think seeing in negative space drawings because it still looks the same.
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