TED Like Talk


Photo taken by my Language Arts teacher


Have you ever tried public speaking in front of your peers? It’s hard. This is my experience with it.

During my Language Arts class, everyone in my class did a TED Like Talk about something we love. I did mine on a coding platform called Scratch. Scratch is something I’ve really gotten into lately. I thought it would be easy to talk about it, since it’s something I love, but it turns out, public speaking is hard. Really hard. You have to make a presentation that makes sense. You have to show, not just tell. You have to be able to talk about it like it’s your passion. You have to be fluid with your talking and make everything flow. You have to be able to communicate with your audience. You have to make eye contact and use appealing gestures. You have to prepare, prepare, prepare. This was driving me crazy. I imagined it would go very well. I imagined it would fail horribly. It went neither way. I think I did better than I give myself credit for, and I really worked hard. Have I learned from this? Yes. Have I improved? Yes. Will I do this again? Hopefully, yes.


Screenshot of Project

In my Language Arts class, we have been reading a book called The Westing Game. A character in that book named Turtle Wexler has been investing in stocks. My class tried picking stocks to ‘buy’, investing in them, and waiting to see the finale balance. (Disclaimer: The only stocks we could buy were from the New York Stock Exchange.) This spreadsheet is how we did it.

A math teacher at my school named Mrs. Sprague and my Language Arts teacher Mrs. Donnelly, as well as the whole class worked to insert different formulas to count stock prices and such. The image above is a photo of my spreadsheet. Of course, everyone picked different stocks to invest in, and no one came out with the exact same outcome. The stocks I chose to invest in were Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Disney (DIS), Nike (NKE), Starbucks (SBUX), and Dominoes (DPZ). My biggest regret was investing in Dominoes, because for the most part, they were dragging me down. (In my defense, I was hungry, and felt like pizza-) My biggest gain was from Apple.

My final balance was $285.32. I really think I learned a lot from this activity, both in the stock market and out of it. The first thing I learned was that you had to act fast. Prices change constantly, and you have to be on the lookout for little nuances that could lead to bigger problems. Another thing I learned was that you have to be okay when things change. When my stock price first went up, I was exhilarated. When it went down, I was depressed. In the end, I learned that learning these lessons were more important than actually being successful and having the greatest gain. I really enjoyed this activity. I hope that you may consider trying it as well.


My Book


During the school year, we did many things in my Language Arts class. We read two books, The Last Cuentista and The Westing Game. We made our own ideal worlds, and brought them to life in books we made with Peg Gignoux. We even retold a story or wrote a story of our own. Through these proud achievements, here are my highlights.

For the majority of the first and second trimester, my class was reading The Last Cuentista. This book is about a girl whose family was selected to go on a ship to another planet, hopefully a habitable one. The trip takes 370 years. All the passengers are reprogrammed, except for the girl. This makes her the only one who remembers Earth, and the past. Can she tell the true story, as the only storyteller now who remembers? I remember thinking the ending was confusing. Now I know that rather than the ending, the author was trying to convey something else. We all need stories to live, and remember. That is what I’ve learned from The Last Cuentista, among many things. This is something I wrote for my Cuento, or a story that I told. “Everything, whether it be my old and battered jacket or the magnets on my family’s refrigerator, tells a story or maybe multiple stories. Without stories, we wouldn’t know who we are or were when we were younger, or may be in the future. Without stories, we would be in a world gone blind. I hope you cherish your stories and keep this world alive.” I still firmly believe in the power of storytelling. 

My ideal word is another project I worked on. We each designed a world we want to live in, and each was creative in its own way. You can learn more about my ideal world from a blog post I made about it a couple posts back. I loved how no two worlds were similar, and that you could essentially tell a person’s personality by their ideal world. I wonder how mine might change as time keeps going by, and I hope to find out.

Without making the book, both my ideal world and my cuento would have nowhere to go. Therefore, I would like to offer a great round of applause to Peg Gignoux, who generously came to our class to help us make our books. I am very proud of my book, and it is a memory I hope to never lose. There are many steps to bookmaking, I learned. My favorite was decorating the book itself. I don’t think I have a least favorite part. All in all, I think it was a wonderful experience to be able to make your own book, and I would definitely recommend trying it.

As I mentioned before, we did many things in Language Arts this year. My favorite was probably making the book, or writing our cuentos. We also learned many things this year, about decisions, small steps, and many others. I think I am very fortunate to be able to do so many awesome things, and learn so continuously. If I could revive 6th grade Language Arts again, I would definitely do it.

Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)

Photo from Wikipedia.

DISCLAIMER – This may not be the best post to look at if you want straight facts. I have used a lot of opinion in this post, and it is alright if you don’t agree. Most of this is from my flawed memory, with Wikipedia and Google for help.

If you are a swiftie, like I am, you may know that a certain Taylor Swift has announced a new re-recording of her incredible third album, Speak Now, coming out on July 7th. This new album is going to be called Speak Now (Taylor’s Version). Why is Taylor Swift re-recording her own music, you may ask? It all starts with a contract with a Music publishing label, namely, Big Machine Records. She signed a contract with them in 2005, stating that the masters of her music, meaning the copyright of the audio file, would belong to the company. Her contract had expired in 2018. Taylor switched labels, and now signs with Republic Records. The masters of her music before she switched labels still belongs to Big Machine, and Scooter Braun bought Big Machine, and so now Taylor’s masters belong to Scooter Braun. He later sold Big Machine to Shamrock Holdings, but Taylor had decided by then that she would re-record her music, album by album. She now owns her own music after 2018, her albums Lover, Folklore, Evermore, Fearless (Taylor’s Version), Red (Taylor’s Version), and a couple more songs.

Taylor Swift loves Easter eggs, especially putting them in her own music videos. Not the kind with chocolates during spring, but the kind of hint/mystery/clue-y/cryptic message that sends a message about something. That message could be anything, from maybe announcing a new movie, to telling people you’re making a new album, to telling people that you like emojis. These Easter eggs can be found in many things, music videos, trailers, outfit choices, speeches, etc. Going back to one of my fav topics, Taylor Swift has been putting out Easter eggs about the re-release of Speak Now since months ago, maybe even years. Here are some big ones that swifties have noticed recently.

Photo from Buzzfeed.

1) Elevator buttons in the ‘Bejeweled’ music video     Taylor has lined up all her albums here, starting from her debut to her latest. However, she has only released 12 albums. The purple 13 at the top of the elevator buttons means she might release Speak Now TV next.

There were many other Easter eggs pointing to Speak Now TV, and I can’t add many, so here is one more that stood out to me.

Photo from a Billboard article.

2) When Taylor released the music video for her single, Lavender Haze, something that stood out to people were the koi fish swimming around her. Many thought it was a reference to the Speak Now World Tour, when Taylor had performed with a guitar decorated with koi fish. However, there was another Easter egg, this time pointing to when Speak Now TV would be released. National koi day is July 7th. Taylor is planning to release Speak Now TV on July 7th. Brilliant, isn’t it?

So, in other words, Taylor Swift’s new album, Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), is coming out July 7th!!!

Wildfire Forest Game

In my computer science class, we used a website called CS First to learn how to code using blocks. CS First was like coding on Scratch for school. Scratch is another website for coding with blocks, and I was first introduced to it when I was younger. I have been coding using Scratch and CS First ever since, and here is a project I worked on using CS First. It is called “Wildfire Forest Game”.

In this game, you are the hero, a cup of water. You try to put out fires by going to them. Once you put out 25 fires, you win. On the other hand, if the fire gets too big before you reach it, the fire spreads and you lose. Someone who helped me make the game is Benigno, also from my computer science class. I had a really fun time making this game and I hope I will be able to make more games. 


The Peak of Hong Kong

Have you ever been to Hong Kong? The Peak of Hong Kong is a nice place to visit, if you ever will. It has a tremendous view of the place from the peak of a mountain. There’s a balcony stretching around the top of the mountain where you can eat or stare at the view.

My family and I went there twice, once during the day and once at night. Both times were beautiful,  but the winds were considerably stronger at night. I liked the night view a bit more because the lights of the city were clearly visible and lit everything up. I hope that I will someday be able to go there again.

My Ideal World


Have you ever imagined a world unlike Earth? In my Language Arts class, we each created our own worlds.  Mine was called IAL AETERNUM, a world in a book, full of magic. IAL means relating to or connecting to. AETERNUM means forever or always in Latin. I chose this name for my planet because IAL is my last name backwards, and I wanted my planet to last forever or always be there. If something went wrong, you could turn a page and start over again. I made it this way because I wanted a way to start over, to have a second chance at something. 

The magic part has to do with my wild imagination and reading a lot of fiction books. I wanted a world kind of like Harry Potter but different in a way, so I made sure the people can learn magic starting at 10 years old and start using magic with their hands at 16. The magic will never run out because it is connected to the original book that’s immortal. 

I took all the best and most beautiful parts of Earth and put it in my world. There are beautiful creatures and magnificent nature, magical foods and the best clothes ever. Towering waterfalls and brilliant lakes line the many forests and hills. The sunset shines the picture perfect landscapes. Pollution doesn’t exist. Endless fields  of grazing animals reach toward the horizon. There are no monsters, no evil. There are palaces and princesses and royal events. There is no government system and everyone has power. There are advanced technologies, and people can teleport.

I hope that someday, Earth might be as beautiful, magical, peaceful and incredible as IAL AETERNUM. 

Museum of Natural Sciences

My whole grade recently had a field trip to the Museum of Natural Sciences. Here is my experience there. On January 27, a Friday, we set off on two buses to the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. The bus ride there was almost 40 minutes long, but it went by quickly. We were there for a couple of hours, including lunch.

My favorite parts of the trip were these super cool 3D printed things and the realistic animals. In my opinion, the most interesting thing about the museum was the race exhibit. There were these interesting posters about race and I learned a lot from it. About halfway through, we had lunch outside, which was really nice. I recommend the museum and wish I could go back again. Thank you for reading!


Window or Mirror Book

(Photo from Sora)

I just finished this novel by Stuart Gibbs called Evil Spy School. This book was the third book in the Spy School series. I recommend it to people who like realistic fiction and have already read the other books in the series. I recently learned about window and mirror books in my Language Arts class. Window books are books that don’t reflect your life or situation. Mirror books are books that mirror you or the situation you are in. To me, Spy School is a window book because I am not an undercover spy for the CIA. I typically choose window books to read, like science fiction or fantasy books. I hope that later on in the year I will read some mirror books. Thank you for reading! 

Book Spine Poem

These are my book spine poems from books I found in my room:


Gift from the Sea,





The Secret Token,

Last of her Name,