Showing posts from 2008

Story Written with Videoconferencing Students

The White House stood, majestic as ever, at an angle on the muddy ground. Tall, cloaked figures were digging long and narrow trenches in the mud as sirens rang out throughout the city.
The President, Luis, stared worriedly out a window without opening it, of course. All the windows had been partially boarded up after the vampires had taken over the White House lawn.
“They’re using laser artillery, Mr. President!” a White House butler shouted. “Get under your desk!” President Luis ducked under his finely polished mahogany desk just as a beam of green light hit the window, sending shards of heated glass all around the room.
The impressively gigantic armoire in the corner shook as three Secret Service agents came running—the few who were still loyal to the President. Most of the others had gone over to the dark side.

Essay written about the election

Most of the historical events of my lifetime have occurred while I was watching TV. For instance, on November 4th, Election Day in the U.S., I was bouncing on top of the comfy leather couch in my mom's room, watching the elctoral map closely. When Barack Obama was declared President-Elect of the United States, I was actually checking the time on my computer.

"ADORA!" my mother bellowed. I rushed to the TV. The first thing noticed--"Barack Obama Elected" in the corner of the screen. I shouted loudly and jumped on the couch. I was relieved that Obama had kept the election from John McCain's clutches--and by a glorious amount, too.

At the same time, it was very depressing to hear McCain's concession speech. It would have been easier if he had acted ingracious, angry, and more Bush-like, because then we could have been more joyous about Obama's victory. Unfortunately, McCain was gracious, sad, and resigned to his fate.

Obviously, the outcome of this electi…

An Account of my Trip to the Island of Oahu in Hawaii

This is a much belated account of my trip to Hawaii.

PART 1: Pre-trip, Airplane, and Hotel

For many days, I could barely wait to depart for that glorious state. I even kept a small note pinned to my desk, a countdown of the days left until I went to Hawaii.

The actual departure was not nearly as glamorous. The night before, I had not been able to get to sleep for pure excitement, and I spent the majority of my sleeping hours tossing and turning, too enthusiastic about the upcoming trip to sleep. A taxi arrived to take us to the airport early in the morning. I bid farewells to the unlucky members of my family who would not be accompanying me (meaning my dad and sister) before going into the car.

At the airport, my mother kindly purchased me a blueberry granola yogurt parfait, which I devoured. Soon after we boarded the Hawaiian Airlines plane and settled down for the nearly six hour flight. Inside, the plane looked much like an international carrier; there were three rows of seats--two o…

Story written with Ben Franklin School: Uniontown, PA

This is a story I wrote with the third grade of the Ben Franklin School in Uniontown, Pensylvania during a videoconference called "Easy Steps to Story Writing." The students were very creative, and came up with such interesting characters as "Bob Dickinson the flying elephant" and "Al the Walking Worm." Without any further ado, here is the story:

Bob Dickinson, the amazing flying elephant, waddled onto the warm sands of Sun Grove Beach with his friend, a walking worm named Al. It was an unusually hot day, and Bob Dickinson had shed his bright pink sweater, walking around without any clothes. Al was mortified.
“Surely you’ll be seen!” Al said. “You’re already used to wearing clothes. It’s not that hot here.”
Bob glanced disdainfully at Al, who was inching along at slow worm-pace.
“Not that hot to you, maybe,” Bob said in his best snooty tone. Seeing that Al was not at all convinced, Bob ran, launching off with his back feet into the air. His long, purple w…

Things I've Learned: Feudal Society

Apologies for the belated new blog post. I need to post another "Things I've Learned" directly after this one, since this is only the post that was due last week, and I need one for this week.
Today I'll talk about European feudal society. The basic feudal society was made up of a social diagram. The king came first, then barons, knights, and laborers, or freemen and serfs. The Church also held a lot of power during feudal times. Barons or other lords (counts, etc.) owned most of the land. They would give parcels of land to knights in return for their allegiance and protection. Peasants worked their lord's land, planting crops for their families. In return for that land, the lord demanded a share of the peasants' crops. What did the peasants get? The land, food, protection, and security a small feudal manor offered. Life was very hard for the bottom of the social triangle, the poor peasants called serfs. Serfs were virtually slaves. They could not move off the …

Things I've Learned: Egyptian Art

As promised, I'm continuing the "Things I've Learned" blog series, today focusing on Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art. I have learned quite a bit about Egyptian art and its differences as compared to Roman and Greek art. Here are a few of the things I've learned:
-The ideal Egyptian figure is presented with feet set flat and firm on the ground, both legs and both arms shown, even if a figure is in profile. 
-In a piece of Egyptian artwork, the most important person is often the largest. For instance, in this Egyptian artwork ("Nebamun Hunting Fowl), the subject of the piece (Nebamun) is the largest. 
-Clothing and styles in Egyptian times were pretty interesting. Children (like the  one seated below Nebamun) wore their hair partially shaved. If you were privileged, you might wear jewelry of some sort. Men wore kilts. 
-You might wonder why Nebamun & family are dressed so nicely--you wouldn't really wear your fanciest jewelry to go hunting, would…

A Few Things I've Learned Recently: The Vikings

I've decided to write about a few things I've learned recently. Most of these are things I've learned from other people or from reading books. Chief among the things I've learned: I should blog more often.So this is a new blog, the first in my new blog series "A Few Things I've Learned Recently." Every week (if not sooner), I will add a blog post about something I've learned. Today it will be about the Vikings.1. I have learned about Vikings and Viking weapons. Apparently, they used a variety of weapons, from their primary weapon (the sword) to classy weapons like the bow and arrow and spears. They carried heavy round shields with iron centers. Berserkers were the wild, crazed Viking warriors who were supposed to feel no pain in battle. We get our word "berserk" from them. Although the Vikings lived in the European region of Scandinavia, they could go as far as Greenland and even (thanks to Leif Erikson) to the North American continent. Th…

Family Reunion Vacation in Lake Chelan

Our vacation began on Friday night. My mom, dad, and older sister packed into our car with countless bags. We were going to a place called Lake Chelan. I threw a variety of clothes of different fabrics and colors into a bright orange bag. We brought some food along with us. I made ice packs and dumped salt into them so that they would keep cold.

The drive was very long. For the most part it was at night, and I had to struggle to keep awake and read directions out to my dad while we drove. My sister and I were on "deer watch" trying to make sure that we didn't hit any deer on the highway, but my sister kept on falling asleep.
When we arrived, it was already past midnight. Everyone was sleeping except for my Aunt Yimei, who was giving us some directions to get to the house. We had an entire room to our own intermediate family.

In the morning, everyone joined upstairs in the dining room--my aunts, uncles, cousin, mom, dad, grandpa and grandma, and my sister. We went for a morn…

Adora Book Club

For all of you readers out there, I'd like to welcome you to my blog It's a blog where viewers can post book reviews in the comments section and I'll publish some of them on the blog. If you've read a book recently and you'd like to write a review, head over to the Adora Book Club!

Book Review of Flying Fingers

This is a book review written by my good friend Maya, who is a very talented author. Here's the review:


Flying Fingers is astonishing, considering the age of the author, seven-year-old Adora Svitak. A must-read, Flying Fingers is filled with enticing stories and poems that are surprisingly mature. Adora has proved herself worthy of praise and of the honor of seeing her name in print…so it’s no wonder that her fast and furious typing ceases only to allow the world to admire the literary masterpiece she has created. Meanwhile, after devouring Flying Fingers, Adora’s fans must await with anticipation her poetry collection, Dancing Fingers.


Check out Maya's blog at!

New Quote

"Childrens' lives started going wrong when adults started diagnosing them."

By the way, these are my quotes and COPYRIGHTED. So get your hand off that copy-and-paste button, buddy.

Fake ad I wrote for a made-up medicine: Protorvia

I’ve been a cell-phone gabber my whole life! I’m a chatterbox sort of girl. But Type 2 musclodesklegenerative disorder, brought on as a result of excessive cell phone use, can make it hard for chatterboxes like me to keep their routine going. That’s why I was excited when my doctor told me about Protorvia. Protorvia is the once-a-month pill that will keep me on my cell phone for a whole month!

Quieter, fast voice while showing distracting images: Do not take Protorvia if you have allergies to peanuts. Do not take Protorvia if you have risk factor for excessive sneezing, as Protorvia may affect your nose and esophagus. Do not take Protorvia if you take statins. Some common side effects of Protorvia are bloating of the stomach, hair loss, migraines, sleep-boxing with amnesia for the event, strep throat, typhoid, tooth loss, mental sluggishness, slowed blood flow, heart attack, and full body paralysis. Death has been reported. Do not drive, walk, or breathe until you are sure of how Proto…


This is a quote I thought about myself when I was walking with my mom and my sister:

"Family and enemies are more important than friends. Family because they love you; enemies because they might kill you."

Obviously, that's not always true.

San Antonio travels

San Antonio, Texas

Our flight to San Antonio stopped in Phoenix, Arizona first. At the time the temperature in Phoenix was 113 degrees Fahrenheit. The Arizonans must have tough skins to live through such weather.

We arrived in San Antonio very late at night and caught a taxi to the Hyatt Regency, which was situated across the street from the Alamo and directly on the San Antonio Riverwalk.

When we arrived, the hotel—if you’ll excuse the cliché—took my breath away. There were swift transparent glass elevators, balconies on every floor with windows looking out onto the lobby and shiny polished everything. I could hardly wait to inspect our room on the tenth floor. Thus it was with enthusiasm that I leapt into the elevator up.

Our room was the average hotel room: two beds, one TV, a coffee maker with tea and coffee, bottled water—that was, for a five dollar fee—a desk, etc. However, we had a wonderful view of the Alamo looking out of our tall floor-to-ceiling windows.

If you are wondering wha…

On the Degeneration of the American Culture

What sounds more exciting and interesting:

1.) A group of students slacks off in class, never listens to the teacher, spits gum and skateboards in all the places there are signs saying "No Skateboards" and "No Gum." They don't study for tests, shoplift in their spare time, are straight F students, bring concealed knives to class, and, after getting expelled in the tenth grade and forcibly reenrolled by their parents, they drop out of school and become violent thieves.

2.) A group of students behaves perfectly in class, always listen carefully to the teacher, take notes, and don't even dream of bringing skateboards or gum to class. They have shelves full of books on how to study right and always manage to memorize every single thing on the test. School is more important than shopping, they're straight A students, and, after graduating with honors from an Ivy League college, get high-paying jobs like accountants, insurance agents, and university deans.

I don…

Another story beginning written with Lincoln School, Costa Rica

Max Gil had always wanted to climb a mountain. He said that it didn’t matter which mountain it was (although he’d prefer a pretty high mountain), as long as he got to climb a mountain.
Max would spend hours in bed just dreaming about climbing a mountain. Max had a very nice room. The walls were painted dark blue and the curtains were made of silk and lace. Max had eighty-three building blocks, five boxes full of toys, drawers and drawers of beautiful writing paper, and lots of different things to amuse himself with. Still Max was not happy. He wanted to climb a mountain.
That was why he was so excited when his father told him that they would be going to Mt. Chirripo. In fact, Max jumped up and down and nearly knocked over the breakfast table. He bumped his head on the chandelier. The chandelier ended up on the floor and the candles all fell out. Fire streaked across the hardwood floor.
“Aaaaaah!” Max shrieked as his socks burned. Max’s father was laughing so hard that he didn…

Beginning of a story written with Lincoln School, Costa Rica

On June 9th I had my first videoconference with a school in Costa Rica, the Lincoln School. I gave two presentations on Inspirations for Writing. During the second session, I showed them how you can easily start writing a story using simple inspirations. The beginning of this story was inspired by the ideas "carnivorous plant" and "monkeys." I would love it if the students of the Lincoln School wanted to continue this story, copied and pasted the beginning into the "comments" section, and gave it their own ending. Here is the beginning of the story:


The town of Saitam was not known for being an exciting place. Nothing much ever happened there. It was a very small town, with two restaurants, one post office, one school, and twelve houses. The people of the town had to get their groceries from another town four miles away. Saitam was so small that it wasn’t even on the map.
But something would happen to change all that.

There were lots of monkeys in…

Musical Preferences

When giving presentations via videoconference I am sometimes asked what my favorite kind of music is. At those times I will usually start off by listing the types of music that I dislike. This, for me, is a great deal easier than listing the kinds that I like. I will list for you here some types of music I dislike, in order of most disliked to "I guess it's sometimes okay" position:

Rap. I'm not even sure if rap can qualify as music, but anything that a majority of the United States teenage population likes probably isn't intelligent talk radio. I've taken to doing rap parodies to annoy people, namely my older sister. Whenever I come into the room she blasts Soulja Boy on, high-volume, in order to annoy me back.Pop. As in today's pop, like Avril Lavigne and the Jonas Brothers. I would describe it as "high-pitched wails, clashing vibrations of shallow idiocy, and altogether unpleasant." I know that I'm probably offending quite a few people her…

Upcoming Events

I'll be presenting at these upcoming events:

WHO Convention (Washington Homeschoolers Organization)
Puyallup, Washington State

NECC (National Educational Computing Conference)
San Antonio, Texas

Tikatok Company Launch (
Boston Public Library, Boston, Massachusetts

For more information regarding these events, or to request a presentation, feel free to contact us.

Dialogue between presidents in the White House of the "underworld"

For class I was studying some early presidents, because I was supposed to write a dialogue between them. I asked my teacher whether I could have some presidents talk with presidents who would have been dead in their time. She said sure. I got the idea to make them ghosts in the underworld.


The White House was never the quietest place in the underworld, but tonight the noise was absolutely alarming. It made sense--all the dead presidents' ghosts, ghosts of staff, and ghosts of family crammed into a single building were bound to make noise. In the kitchen, where at least some of the cooks knew him, Andrew Jackson tried to get to sleep.

"Poll wants to fly! Poll wants to leave!" Jackson's parrot, Poll, squawked.

"Shut it, you scumfaced, traitorous, most--oh, thought you, someone, Poll," Jackson mumbled sleepily, groping for his pillow. "Who stole my pillow?"

"Poll wants to leave!" was Poll's only answer.

"Fine, sirrah! …

Trip to British Columbia, Canada (In Detail)


The city of Surrey is very close to the border--in fact, if you drive into Canada a little ways there should be big white letters that say "Welcome to Surrey." I believe that you have to take King George Hwy. to get into Surrey but I'm not sure. It might be just another name that got mixed in there.Surrey's school district, the Surrey School District, organized the leadership conference...which brings me to my next topic--
leadership conference
The leadership conference was actually called Ideas 36, and lasted for two days. Schools from all around the Surrey School District sent their student leaders to attend the conference. Not all of the attendees were neccessarily student leaders, however--one boy I interviewed for a blog post said this: "I wasn't really expecting athletic director guided me here...said there would be free food." I am lured to a lot of events by free food, and I'm glad that it worked with that boy at least.

Overview of my trip to British Columbia, Canada

[Note about areas in bold: This is an overview of the trip so I'll be giving more details about bolded areas in a second blog post.]


We (my mother, my grandparents, and I) headed to BC for a leadership conference in Surrey, a large (and quickly growing) city that would have reminded me of Redmond were it not a few times bigger. At the leadership conference, I gave two separate presentations: "Creating Leadership" at the theater of the Panorama Ridge Secondary School, and "Technology and Leadership" at the Bell Theater. After "Technology and Leadership" I answered questions and finished a blog post we had started. There was an abundance of food at both conferences.

We stayed at three different hotels for different parts of our visit: the Sheraton Guildford Hotel, the Holiday Inn Express, and the Holiday Inn Downtown.

We visited three different museums while we were in BC: the Burnaby Village Museum, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and th…

Poem written with students of the Evergreen School, Shoreline

My cat piddled on my binderShe’s run away, I must find herMy homework is all yellowI want to turn her into jell-oI regret my cat’s lifted hinder.
If you're interested in getting your work published, here is a great way to do that:

Call for Submissions
Become a Published Young Author or Illustrator!
Launch Pad: Where Young Authors and Illustrators Take Off! is a new onlinemagazine devoted to publishing fiction, nonfiction, poetry, book reviews,and artwork by children ages 6-12. The editor is pleased to announce thepublication of the first online issue (January/February 2008) openlyaccessible from the Launch Pad web site. We still have space in all of ourupcoming 2008 issues, and invite young authors and artists to submitmaterial about the following themes:
The OceanSummer VacationSportsMysteries
Please visit to read the magazine and review oursubmission guidelines! We do not charge parents or children any publicationor submission fees.
Printable handouts:
Email submissions and queries to:

If you're interested in getting your work published, here is a great way to do that: Call for Submissions Become a Published Young Author or Illustrator! Launch Pad: Where Young Authors and Illustrators Take Off! is a new online
magazine devoted to publishing fiction, nonfiction, poetry, book reviews,
and artwork by children ages 6-12. The editor is pleased to announce the
publication of the first online issue (January/February 2008) openly
accessible from the Launch Pad web site. We still have space in all of our
upcoming 2008 issues, and invite young authors and artists to submit
material about the following themes: The Ocean
Summer Vacation
Mysteries Please visit to read the magazine and review our
submission guidelines! We do not charge parents or children any publication
or submission fees. Printable handouts: submissions…

Camp Goddard

On Tuesday, March 25th, I wrote a blog with students of Furneaux School about a science learning camp called Camp Goddard that they went to. Here's the blog:

Camp Goddard is located right outside of Davis, Oklahoma. There were 82 students and 17 adults. The students stayed four days and three nights in cabins. One of these cabins had an encounter with a really big coyote. It still had its winter coat. It was fat. The students were walking toward the cabin when they saw the coyote. They stood still. The principal, Mr. Cunningham, ran the coyote off. Some of the students were still scared, though, and worried that the coyote might come back.

Some of the activities the students participated in included archery and canoeing. One student tried to fall out, but nobody really did, fortunately. They also went fishing, hiking, and walking on trails. Miss Carlson took the students on an off-trail trip to see a cavern. There was also a fossil dig for limestone. The digging area used to be a s…

Two Points of View

This is a school assignment I did yesterday. I wrote from two perspectives--one from that of an untouchable (the lowest class in the old Indian caste system) another from the point of view of a girl kshatriya, or noble. The first is that of the untouchable, the second of the kshatriya.


A bonfire flickered in the distance. I could see it clearly against the starry night sky. I ran ahead to inspect it further. Perhaps there would be some food to beg, for it was Holi and I knew that everybody, even the poorest, would probably be in a good mood today.

As I came closer, I could see people singing loudly and dancing around the bonfire in a semicircle. Most of them appeared to be vaishyas, or farmers. I felt like a worm, creeping toward them in their fine clothes. Nobody noticed me at first.

Soon, though, I wished that it had stayed that way. As soon as they noticed me, I wished that they hadn't; the disgust etched on their faces as they backed away made me feel only more an outcast.

A …
I'd like to take this chance to reply to an editor in China who left a comment asking some questions. (In the future, I would recommend anybody seeking a direct reply should leave their email addresses so that I can get back to them as soon as possible.) Here are my answers to the questions:

1. How old are you and when were you born?

I am ten years old and I was born in 1997 in Springfield, Oregon.

2. How many words can you type in a minutes now?

I can type around seventy words a minute on average, but I have gotten up to 110 words per minute.

3. How many words have you read until now? And how many words have you written?

It is impossible to calculate how many words I have read until now. I can tell you that I have read about 2000 books and I have written at least 800,000 words.

School Assignment

Today I was supposed to write a narrative from the point of view of a person going insane and let the reader know that the person was going insane, without actually saying that, of course. Here it is:

Everybody liked the party. The party was bright and happy. However, it was really nothing proper for someone like me, as I was used to a simple life. That was how I had been raised.
I probably would have liked the party, except for the fact that all the ladies and gentlemen in bustle dresses and tailcoats made me feel little and unimportant.
When we were supposed to dance I did not dance. I sat down at the side of the room and watched the people dance. Watching the people dance made me feel dizzy and I sighed. I wanted to dance but I found myself too busy looking out the window. When I looked out the window I saw more rain than grass. It was strange, I thought. Too much water made me feel like I was drowning. It had been that way since I had drank too much wa…

Today's happenings

Today (that is, February 26), I gave a videoconferencing demo to teachers in Alaska. Unfortunately, I was not able to see the other side, but the demo went fairly well in my opinion. After the demo I had lunch of hot blueberry mini-waffles with apple jam. I also had a juicy navel orange.

After my nap, my sister Adrianna and our friend Katie, who attends the same school as Adrianna, came back from junior high, played outside, and came in for afterschool. After Katie had finished her homework, we learned about American history from a website. We also learned about children in Victorian Britain and World War II on the BBC website, and memorized in order the monarchs of the houses of Plantaganet, Lancaster and York, Hanover, and Windsor.

Once Katie was gone I immediately went to my mom's room to watch news on the TV. This is one of my daily rituals--as soon as class ends at 5:30, I come upstairs to watch thirty minutes of alternating between World News with Charles Gibson and CBS news w…

Snow, Sun, and slipping on asphalt

While winter storms batter New York, my sister Adrianna and I have been taking advantage of the warm and sunny weather here in Washington State to play outside on an apparatus called the skateboard. Since neither of us are up to actually keeping our balance standing up on it, we sit down on it and roll down our neighbors' driveway (which slants downward) at great speeds. We have another wheeled device that actually has a proper steering mechanism with handlebars, that is painted red. (I favor it personally.) I was going down our neighbors' driveway just this morning on the vehicle and, fearing that I was going to ram into a decorative wall, attempted to bail off unsuccessfully, leaving my knee dragging on the ground as I hurtled downwards. I managed to get off just in the nick of time but with a bleeding knee from the asphalt. Talk about wounded.

Creating a name

For those of you writing stories of your own (or maybe about to have a baby) here are three ways to find names:

1.) Create your own. You may already like the sound of a name, like "Anna." Now try replacing the "A" with other letters, like Z for Zanna, Y for Yanna, M for Manna, L for Lanna. Let's go with Lanna. Now let's take out one of the N's and change Lanna to Lana. Lastly, I'm going to replace the last A with an E, to create "Lanne." Another way to create your own name is to take your name or that of somebody you know. Let's say Martha, for instance. Martha backwards is Ahtram. Okay, maybe it's a little weird, but we can also try Thara or Mara, Mathara...

2.) Copy someone else. In the olden times, children would often take the names of one of their parents, grandparents, aunts, or uncles. The tradition isn't as widespread today but if you particularly admire someone else's name you can always use it. There's no patent…

Imagined scene from the life of Thomas Jefferson

“My dear, please pass the salt,” Mr. Jefferson said passively to his daughter Patsy, looking ponderously upon his ham and eggs. “First thing you come home and Cook makes ham without any salt! What will this house come to?” Sighing deeply, Jefferson took the salt from his daughter’s hand and dumped a great deal onto his ham.
“I thought Cook would be on vacation!” Patsy said with evident surprise.
“She’s on vacation as much as a Barbary corsair is going to kiss my feet,” Jefferson said. “Meaning, of course, that she’s most decidedly not.”
“I heard about that. Don’t those men have such funny names?” Patsy laughed.
“Patsy my dear, those “men with such funny names” have been attacking our ships and doing what they please,” Mr. Jefferson said sternly, wagging his finger. “I don’t have a taste for eggs today. Let’s take a walk around Monticello.” Patsy nodded and put on her pinafore. As they walked out, Jefferson tripped on a bust of his own head h…

Food Part II

As I said in my previous post, we have too much food in our house. For some reason, we are (or at least I am) drawn to new things rather than the things we're supposed to eat, like leftovers. It's more exciting to tear open a brand-new package of cereal or oats than it is to eat the same old stuff you've had for weeks on end. This phenomenon (our desire to eat new things) has led to an overabundance of leftovers. And nobody likes leftovers, except for starving children in Africa. 
Starving children in Africa makes me think of an interesting Scientific American I read last year. It said that nutritionally, there was enough food in the world for everybody (or at least most of us), but that because of unequal distribution, we have a hunger crisis in many parts of the world. Even when we eat at restaurants, we are often not able to finish what's on our plate. So the restaurant throws it away and the food is wasted. When we eat out too much/have too much food/both, some perc…

Food (and too much of it) Part I

Americans are definitely big consumers of food, but we're also big wasters. Even our household (and we consider ourselves fairly good when it comes to eating our food) has a surplus of whole wheat pancakes. The root of the matter may lie in the fact that the pancakes are tough, and some of them are burnt. Of course, we have also been crazed over our new oats so we have obviously neglected the pancakes.
Tonight we're having pasta imported from Italy. You can tell that it's really Italian because 1) there's not a shred of English, everything is in Italian 2) it's small and 3) it's expensive. I look forward to eating it. Call me treasonous if you like, but in general, European food is much better than American. When we were in Europe, we had a good time eating. 
Andy Rooney has said, "I never eat in the restaurant of the hotel where I'm staying." In contrast, I often eat in hotel restaurants. In Hong Kong, it was nearly the only place we ate. Obviously…

Pros and Cons of the Videoconference Part 2

When I debuted the presentation "Essay Made Easy: Persuasive Writing," I talked about techniques of persuasive writing, like anecdotes and scenarios, facts and examples, and definitions and quotes. 
I noticed that the students (who were, I noted, teenagers) were talking amongst themselves when they were supposed to accomplish an assignment. Was I a little frustrated? To the contrary, these chattering students inspired me to create a new PowerPoint. I hope that a new presentation I plan to make about rules will stick in the minds of students.
Looking back on the persuasive writing presentation, I have to say that it's made me think a little more about the key parts to making a videoconference a success.
1. A good presenter who is able to manage the video conferencing unit and teach students effectively.
2. A working video conferencing unit that, to put it concisely, does just that--works. Plus good internet connection.
3. A receptive audience who listens carefully and makes an…

Hillary Clinton's Detailed Plan on Energy

I am a supporter of Hillary Clinton. I believe that she really has plans and she is laying foundations. To me Obama is making empty promises. He's inspirational, but Hillary Clinton is what our country needs. Watch Hillary's great plans on energy here--

Pros + Cons of the Videoconference

As a frequent videoconferencer (I give many presentations through a videoconferencing unit to schools across the country), I am surprised by the sometime randomness and uncertainty of videoconferencing. Problems range from not being able to see the other side (the POINT of videoconferencing) to not being able to show a computer's screen even when the presentation cord is hooked up, to not being able to hear the other party, to not being able to turn the thing on! But at the same time videoconferencing technology has allowed me to give many presentations to schools far away that would have taken a lot of time to board planes, hook up put it briefly, the videoconferencing unit has allowed me to give more presentations. I think that's good.

Hairstyles of Dictators of the World

Hairstyles of Dictators of the World
Svitak, Adora

Looking at a picture of Chairman Mao, I notice a striking similarity between his high-forehead hairstyle and that of modern day North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il. This made me want to analyze hairstyles of other dictators of the world, and so I began my political fashion quest. Let's see...Josef Stalin has a fairly high hairstyle. (And all of them have rather chubby faces, but don't tell the Russian, North Korean, or Chinese government I've said this.) Pol Pot, infamous leader of the Cambodian Khmer Rouge, has an about normal hairstyle. Fidel Castro? Yes, he has a high hairstyle, but I think this is because he's balding in old age. Poor Fidel...Our hearts bleed for you.

Although Marie Antoinette doesn't fit under the term "dictator," her hair was pulled back high above her forehead, as was the fashion at the time. So were the dictators mentioned above--many of them Communist--ironically influenced by the Imp…

Becoming an Expert: Words I Learned

Today I am learning about the Red Guards of China's Cultural Revolution by reading articles from Encarta and Wikipedia. While the writing of the article isn't exactly that interesting itself (typical reference writing), the subject is interesting enough to me that the way it's written doesn't matter that much. Here's a word I find popping up a lot in anything related to the Cultural Revolution that I didn't know before:

re·ac·tion·ar·y /riˈækʃəˌnɛri/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[ree-ak-shuh-ner-ee] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation adjective, noun, plural -ar·ies.
of, pertaining to, marked by, or favoring reaction, esp. extreme conservatism or rightism in politics; opposing political or social change. –noun
a reactionary person.

But reactionaries don't have to be related to the Cultural Revolution.

Becoming an Expert: Draft 2

For the Becoming an Expert project, I'm supposed to write about how my perceptions changed when I visited China or my assumptions were proved wrong. But to be honest, I did not have perceptions or assumptions about China before my visit; I merely learned new things that I probably would not have been able to learn from Wikipedia or Encarta. I'll include some of my discoveries here.

I learned a lot about Chinese culture, especially relating to food. The Chinese love eating, and even in Beijing, where space is one of the most important commodities in this city of millions of people, every restaurant has a private room for those people who want to savor their food without the chitchat of the open area. Street food is cheap to many of us tourists, with hot yams at a quarter and cakes at two.

But don't think everything in China comes cheap. In Xi'an's colossal, seven-story shopping mall, some swimsuits cost hundreds of dollars. And often, vendors will try to charge you m…
For the Becoming an Expert project, I'm supposed to write about how my perceptions changed when I visited China or my assumptions were proved wrong. But to be honest, I did not have perceptions or assumptions about China before my visit; I merely learned new things that I probably would not have been able to learn from Wikipedia or Encarta. I'll include some of my discoveries here.

I learned a lot about Chinese culture, especially relating to food. The Chinese love eating, and even in Beijing, where space is one of the most important commodities in this city of millions of people, every restaurant has a private room for those people who want to savor their food without the chitchat of the open area. Street food is cheap to many of us tourists, with hot yams at a quarter and cakes at two. But in other areas, like Xi'an's colossal, seven-story shopping mall, things don't come cheap--some swimsuits cost as much as hundreds of dollars.

Like many Asian countries, China va…