Table Tennis

Posted: April 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

Today we played another tournament style game.  I stayed sort of in the middle when we were going up and down.  I kept playing against Michael, Junichi, or Yusuke at this one table and sent down.  But then, I kept beating the people to get back to that spot.  I was definitely still comfortable with my push shots, but my serves and smashes caused a little bit of an issue for me.  My smashes, while getting more accurate, are still falling into the net.  I think what I’m doing wrong is waiting for the ball rather than going and getting it.  Since I’m waiting so long the ball isn’t getting hit at the apex of its ascent and not returning at the angle I want.   My serves, the other problem, are actually really good.  I scored repeatedly with my fast serve and got a lot of points.  The problem was that I kept getting called out, it turns out that the way I had been serving was illegal.  I was hiding the ball and not throwing it up (which is against the rules), so I had to switch to a legal method of serving.  This legal method is much more difficult and it tends to bounce more.  I’ll definitely need a lot more practice with that new serve so I can play the game well without cheating.

Table Tennis

Posted: April 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

Today we began learning the smash shot.  You’re supposed to bring your paddle over the ball and smash from there.  I’m having troubles with my smashes, as they keep hitting the net.  I believe that this is an area in which I need to improve.  Aside from learning the smash we started to learn tournament style play.  This was good because it was one of the first “real” game experiences.  Of course Michael crushed everybody, but that’s because he’s incredibly skilled.  The rest of the matches were actually pretty close, which made them very exciting.  I used the push shot a lot, and I attempted smashes several times.  I got one or two good smashes in, but the majority of them just got points for the enemy.  I scored mainly by using safe push shots and just waiting for the other player to mess up.  While this worked for me today, as the class gets better this technique will probably be useless.

Table Tennis

Posted: March 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

In the second class of ping pong, we learned the rules of the game.  This was actually pretty easy since we just finished the badminton unit.  Badminton and ping pong have very similar rules, just completely different sizes.  These rules regulate the amount of hits you can have (1) and how many times the ball can bounce on your side (1).   The rule about how many bounces you can have was actually different from badminton, in which you can have 0 bounces.  We have previously learned the push shot, but I had already known how to do that.  I’m no expert at ping pong, but we had the unit in middle school PE and the push shot was a basic hit.

Conflict VIDEO!!!

Posted: March 15, 2011 in Uncategorized


Posted: February 14, 2011 in English G10

Every day we wake up, put our clothes on, go to school, come home, do our homework, and go to sleep.  Every day we do exactly what we’re told.  Every day, we follow society’s plan for us.  All aspects of our lives are controlled by this plan.  From the foods we eat to the clothes we wear.  It seems as though we’ve all completely lost our ability to make our own choices.  Conformity is a word often used to describe Japanese culture.  But the level of conformity that I can see RIGHT now in this room goes way beyond culture.

How many of you hated Michael Jackson and called him a pedophile before he died?  And immediately after his death, how many of you started proclaiming him to be the greatest pop musician ever?  Just make up your minds!  Don’t say one thing about someone and then, as soon as it’s popular, say the exact opposite!  If you like something unpopular, don’t be afraid to admit it!  If you hate something popular, just say it!  For example, I hate rap.  It’s only 1 letter away from crap.  I don’t care if it’s popular.  I dislike it.  If there’s something that you genuinely like that happens to be popular, by all means enjoy yourself.  The Suite Life of Zack and Cody is one of the most imaginative and greatest shows ever.  Period.

Those of you who aren’t making your own decisions are only living to die.  For every life, there should be a purpose.  Even if that purpose is only to enjoy yourself while you’re here, I guarantee it that things are more enjoyable if you’ve elected to do them rather than been told to them.  Don’t waste your life.  If the meaning of your life is something as trivial as enjoying early 1900’s ragtime music, then for God’s sake, smash all of your Bieber merchandise and pop in some ragtime!

You may be criticized for what you’ve chosen to do, but let’s face it.  Who gets remembered in history?  Cutting edge innovators, or sheeple?  Socrates, Jesus, and Led Zeppelin all went against the ideas of their times.  They all presented themselves as a unique alternatives for everyday life.  Do you think when Socrates was told that he must either conform to societies ideals or perish, he hesitated for a second?  No!  Socrates was a free-thinker.  Socrates was a risk-taker.  But most of all, Socrates was his own man.  He proposed ideas and was eventually prosecuted for them.  As was Jesus, and Led – oh no, never mind, Led Zeppelin was met with massive commercial success.  The point being, sometimes when you try something new, you’ll find a personal reward, other times, everyone will love you for it!  If you’re doing what you love, it shouldn’t matter.  Just take a risk with some things.  Who knows how it’ll turn out?  I know I don’t!  I know you don’t!  Nobody does!

When you do something, don’t for a second think what anybody else will think of you.  I don’t.  I know what many of you are thinking – “Of course, maybe that’s why I hate him.”  But do I look like I care?  I may cry at home in my bedroom, but do I look like it?  Maybe a little bit.  But that’s not the point.  The point is that YOU won’t care.  You will live your life with no regrets.  It’s been said that in life you regret more what you didn’t do than what you did do.  So, what have you got to lose?  Nothing!  So, pick something you truly want to do.  I don’t care what it is.  It’s no ones business what you do.  And just do it.  After school today.  Just go out, and do whatever you want.

I’d like to place heavy emphasis on the “whatever you want” part.  Don’t go out and do whatever you think might be cool.  Build a model airplane, fly a kite, play Chutes and Ladders.  I’ve seen people who do things simply because they think they’re cool.  An idea I’ve once heard was the simple pondering of what – if such an individual were stranded on a desert island, with access to unlimited entertainment, but no form of communication, would they like?   My personal opinion is that, they’d have lost all forms of autonomy by the point and would quickly be reduced to insanity.  If someone had learned to like things on their own, they would have an excellent time.  They’d watch movies that they thought were excellent stories, listen to music that really speaks to them, and read books that aren’t about vampires.

I hope that maybe, just maybe, at least one of you has listened to what I had to say.  Perhaps just one of the people in here feels like unplugging themselves from the machine of modern society.  The only person that matters is you.  So go ahead and be that one person.

English semester 1 reflection

Posted: February 8, 2011 in English G10

In my late-2010 English class I learned a lot more about English than I had in other classes before.  Before this class I just wrote whatever I felt like for assignments like speeches and essays.  Following semester one, I’ve consciously worked with different literary devices.  This was especially evident in my speech, where I was writing it based on what we had learned from analyzing President Obama and Sarah Palin’s speeches.  Strengths of mine would probably include a strong grasp of the language itself.  As a native speaker of English, when writing I don’t have to think so much about the vocabulary I’m using.  It’s also increased my vocabulary compared to the other students.  My main weakness is that I’m extremely lazy.  I have been told that my laziness keeps me from my true potential.  I’d like to believe that, as it would give me an excuse for being an idiot.  I have consistently produced solid B work with little or no preparation, so I’m hoping to change that a bit and produce solid A work with an average amount of preparation.  I feel as though my strengths have proved sufficient in the class, but what I would like is to be beyond sufficient.  It’s like the difference between living and surviving.  Right now in class I’m surviving, not living.   It’s like the difference between floating and swimming.  I’m floating, not swimming.  In class, with my B grade, I’m meeting class expectations.  What I’d like to do for the remainder of the year is to exceed expectations and truly differentiate myself from the rest of the class.  I’d like to develop as a writer, especially considering that in a couple years I’ll have to write essays for college applications.  Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He’s all right now

Linking activities.

Posted: January 25, 2011 in Social Studies 10

The Inn activity and the Sugar activity introduced the class to some economic concepts that we had previously heard of, though were unable to truly grasp the idea.  For the Inn activity, by placing the students in charge of their own basic economic plans and advertising campaigns, we were able to really gain a basic understanding of how corporations manage.  In the Sugar activity, we were taught the importance of specific markets, and how they’re all interwoven.

In the Inn activity and the Sugar activity we began to see the importance of markets.  In the Sugar activity, each scenario featured the effects of the sugar industry on specific markets, ranging from illegal immigrants to marijuana farmers.  We saw that everything is was related and that markets played a huge role in the economy.  A slightly less obvious use of markets was in the Inn activity.  In the Inn activity, in order to sell any rooms you would need to know your market.  Then, upon knowing your market, you would need to cleverly craft an advertisement based on what you think that specific demographic would be more receptive to.  In real life, businesses always try to understand their market and adjust in an attempt to maximize profits.

Another  economic concept that we developed further understanding of was competition.  Competition was very evident in the Inn activity, and was alluded to in the Sugar activity.  In the Sugar activity, competition was talked about in several of the cards.  Two of which were the cards about the migrant workers and the marijuana farmers.  In the case of the migrant workers, they were traveling to the United States because the competition wasn’t as challenging, as they could work for low wages and there were many jobs.  In the latter,  the farmers switched crops because marijuana was able to produce greater profits than sugar.  This was because of competition resulting in lower sugar demand and higher marijuana demand.  The Inn activity was designed to show us competition to a great degree.  Each company had to create a meal plan that would be desirable enough that people would be willing to pay the price for it.  At this point, the companies would create advertisement to sway public tastes towards them.  The company that was most successful at competing against the others would emerge victorious with great profits.

The final concept was self-interest.  Self-interest is one of the defining traits of all economics.  It drives supply & demand, incentives, and trades.  Self-interest is kept afloat by humanities eternal greed.  Self-interest was evident in the Inn activity for both the producers and the consumers.  In the case of the consumers, they were attempting to find the best quality for the lowest price possible.  Whereas for the producers, they were trying to sell their product to the consumers for the cheapest possible price.  In the Sugar activity, self-interest was seen in every single card.  Generally, each nation was attempting to make the maximum amount of money through their sugar industry as possible, while on the smaller scale, each worker for the sugar industry was trying to earn the most money for their labor.  Self-interest is seen all around us, and I can see it in myself nearly every time I buy something.

Country comparison

Posted: January 24, 2011 in Social Studies 10

In social studies class I conducted research on Ukraine.  Ukraine has a strict command economy that was originally put in place by the USSR when it took over Ukraine.  Ukraine has a very low HDI ranking as well.  Ukraine has suffered tragedy after tragedy throughout the course of history.  Several of these include the Holodomor, the Holocaust,  and various genocides between the different cultures residing in Ukraine.  In relation to the other nations discussed by the class, Ukraine remains in a terrible state.  Perhaps the only nations with worse situations covered in class were Somalia, the Sub-Saharan African nations, and Palestine.  One of the few nations with stricter economic regulations imposed by their governments was China in non-SEZ areas.  A recurring feature of these command economies is the abundant lack of money in the areas effected.  Ukraine was by far the in the worst state economically of the European nations presented by the class, having a GDP per capita of only $6,300, as compared to the approximate $25,000 GDP per capita of Spain, the second lowest GDP per capita of a European country covered by the class.  As a result of the command economy, low human development, and general abundance of poverty in Ukraine, even in comparison with other nations, it seems to be in a state where both economic freedom and social development need to take greater priority in order for the nation to advance any further.

Ukraine country report

Posted: December 17, 2010 in Social Studies 10

Here you can find my country report on Ukraine.    Working on it really opened my eyes to the desperate economies of eastern Europe.  I hope you find it interesting.

Market Interaction

Posted: December 6, 2010 in Social Studies 10

Market interaction was a topic that our class learned about in depth.  In class we learned about the various market interactions dealing with sugar.  We were then sent to find article discussing it.  I found an article dealing with Chinese millionaires purchasing private jets.

The article discusses that as the industrialization of China continues, the market for airplanes is increasing.  This has to do with the Chinese millionaires actually being capable of purchasing airplanes, along with the communist Chinese government becoming more capitalist.  Due to these two factors, more and more people are buying their own private planes.  The article even states that there are waiting lists in China, so it would appear that they have reached a point of shortage.  A major point that wasn’t discussed in the article was that since many products are created in China, this seems to be creating a cycle of prosperity.  In sharp contrast to the cycle of poverty, the millionaires buying planes are allowing the plane manufacturers to become more prosperous.    As a result, they too will be able to afford planes.  Basically, as a result of the world’s use of China as a major manufacturer, the people of China have been getting richer, and gaining more profits, so they can influence the airplane market.  The markets that interact in this scenario are the industrialized manufacturing market and the private airplane market.    This type of market interaction is the most basic, and least complex that I know of.  And it’s the easiest for the untrained eye, like mine, to spot.